This morning's pre-dawn sky featured a thin crescent moon low in the southeast. At that low angle the moon loomed large over the horizon, the distance between the crescent's point and reflected earthshine gave what was otherwise a slim curve of soft yellow light a large presence. Saturn was high in the east, Mars high in the west. The air was clear and cold.
December's long nights are wonderful for sky watching. The leafless trees don't block so much of the sky as the do during summer. The late past week has been exceptional: clear, dry weather and open sky. Jupiter is prominent in the south and west of evening skies. The weather's been cold, too, with about five straight days of freezing temperatures and morning lows in the single digits.
We're long away from the sweltering 100 plus degree days of July.