05/12/2021 – Ephemeris – Searching for the naked-eye planets for this week

May 12, 2021 Leave a comment

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, May 12th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 43 minutes, setting at 9:01, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:16. The Moon, 1 day past new, will set at 10:06 this evening.

Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week. Mars will be joined by two more planets seen in twilight. Both Mercury and Venus are now just above where the Sun set. By 9:30 pm Mercury should be able to be spotted low in the west-northwest. Venus might be spotted lower and somewhat earlier. Venus will be setting at 10:02 pm with Mercury following at 11 pm. Mars can be found in the west at 10 pm tonight, in the constellation of Gemini the twins. Tonight it’s in the middle of the constellation. Mars will set at 1:02 am. Jupiter and Saturn, are in the morning sky. Saturn will rise at 2:30 am, with brighter Jupiter rising at 3:13 am. By 5:30 am they will be low in the southeast in the morning twilight.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Mercury and Venus low in the west-northwest tonight at 9:30 pm or a half hour after sunset. The one-day-old Moon appears just to the left of Venus. Mercury will be 14 degrees above the Lake Michigan horizon, and Venus only 5 degrees. By tomorrow night, the Moon will be to the left of Mercury. Created using Stellarium.
Mars finder animation for 10:30 pm tonight or about an hour and a half after sunset. Bonus: Mercury is still up. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.
Jupiter and Saturn in morning twilight tomorrow morning May 23, 2021. Created using Stellarium.
Saturn and Jupiter as seen in a small telescope at the same magnification. Apparent diameters: Saturn, 17.05″, rings, 39.71″; Jupiter, 38.83″. Mars is too far away to make out detail on its surface, except maybe a polar cap. Its apparent diameter is 4.43″. Venus’ apparent diameter is 9.97″ and will be added when it gets far enough from the Sun to be easily seen. Mercury’s apparent diameter is 7.29″. The cutoff for whether to show a planet here is an apparent diameter of 10″ or greater. The ” symbol means seconds of arc (1/3600th of a degree). Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).
Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on May 12, 2021. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 13th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

05/11/2021 – Ephemeris – The Big Dipper as seen by many peoples

May 11, 2021 Leave a comment

This is Ephemeris for Tuesday, May 11th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 41 minutes, setting at 9 pm, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:17 am. The Moon is new today, and won’t be visible.

The Big Dipper is overhead, actually north of overhead this evening when it gets dark for us in Michigan, it’s seven stars shining brightly. The Big Dipper is not an actual constellation, recognized internationally. It’s part, the hind part, of Ursa Major, the great bear. The Big Dipper is an asterism or informal constellation. It is a distinctly North American constellation. For fugitive slaves, fleeing the southern states in the days before the Civil War, the Drinking Gourd, as they called it, showed the direction north to freedom. In England the dipper stars become the Plough (plow), or Charles’ Wain (Charlemagne’s Wagon). In France, known for culinary delights it was the saucepan, or the cleaver. Many cultures saw what was familiar to them in these seven bright stars.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Big Dipper as seen by different cultures
Cultural views of the Big Dipper as an Animation: Big Dipper/Sauce Pan, Plough (plow), Charle’s Wain (Charlemagne’s wagon), and Cleaver.

05/10/2021 – Ephemeris – The story of the constellations Boötes and Ursa Major

May 10, 2021 Leave a comment

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Monday, May 10th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 38 minutes, setting at 8:58, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:18. The Moon, 1 day before new, will rise at 6:25 tomorrow morning.

Seen in the east at 10 p.m. tonight is the kite shaped constellation of Boötes the herdsman. The bright star Arcturus is at the bottom of the kite to the right. It is pointed to by the arc of the handle of the Big Dipper, higher in the east. Boötes represents a young hunter named Arcas, son of Callisto, a beautiful young lady who had the misfortune of being loved by Zeus the chief of the Greek gods. Zeus’ wife Hera, found out about it, and since she couldn’t punish Zeus, turned the poor woman into a bear. Arcas, many years later, unaware of the events surrounding his mother’s disappearance was about to kill the bear when Zeus intervened and placed them both in the sky to save her, as Arcas still pursues her across the sky nightly.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Arcas and Callisto as Boötes and Ursa Major
Bootes and Ursa Major aka Arcas chasing Callisto around the pole of the sky. Created using Stellarium.
Arcas and Callisto woodcut
Arcas about to slay the bear by the 17th century artist Baur. Source: University of Virginia Electronic Text Center

05/06/2021 – Ephemeris – Corvus, Crater, Hydra and Apollo

May 6, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Thursday, May 6th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 28 minutes, setting at 8:54, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:24. The Moon, 3 days past last quarter, will rise at 5:04 tomorrow morning.

The small constellation of Corvus the crow is located low in the south at 10:30 this evening. It’s made of 5 dim stars, but the pattern is a distinctive but distorted box with two stars at the upper left marking that corner. To the right is a fainter constellation of a thick stemmed goblet called Crater. Both appear above the long constellation of Hydra the water snake who is slithering just above the southern horizon. In Greek mythology Corvus, then white, was the god Apollo’s pet. Apollo once bid Corvus to take a cup and fetch him some water. Corvus however dallied and waited for a green fig to ripen. He grabbed a snake and returned with a story as to how the snake had delayed him. The angry Apollo turned the crow and all crows to this day black.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Corvus-Crater-Hydra finder animation
Corvus-Crater-Hydra finder animation for 10:30 pm May 6. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

05/05/2021 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

May 5, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Cinco de Mayo, Wednesday, May 5th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 26 minutes, setting at 8:53, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:25. The Moon, 2 days past last quarter, will rise at 4:44 tomorrow morning.

Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week. Mars will be joined by one or two more planets, deep in twilight. Both Mercury and Venus are now just above where the Sun set. By 9:30 pm Mercury should be able to be spotted low in the west-northwest. Venus might be spotted lower and somewhat earlier. Venus will be setting at 9:46 and Mercury at 10:33. Mars can be found in the west at 10 pm tonight, in the constellation of Gemini the twins. Tonight it’s just by Castor’s leg. Mars will set at 1:11 am. Jupiter and Saturn, are in the morning sky. Saturn will rise at 2:57 am, with brighter Jupiter rising at 3:38 am. By 5:30 am they will be low in the southeast. The Eta Aquariid meteor shower will reach it’s peak early tomorrow morning.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Mercury and Venus in the evening twilight.
Mercury and Venus low in the west-northwest at 9:30 pm May 5, 2021, about 40 minutes after sunset, over a Lake Michigan horizon. Created using Stellarium.
Mars finder chart.
Mars at about 10:30 pm tonight, May 5, 2021. Created using Stellarium.
Jupiter and Saturn low in the southeast at 5:30 am tomorrow, May 6, 2021. Created using Stellarium.
The Moon as it might appear tomorrow morning May 6, 2021, in binoculars or a small telescope. Created using Stellarium.
Saturn and Jupiter as seen in a small telescope at the same magnification. Apparent diameters: Saturn, 16.82″, rings, 39.17″; Jupiter, 37.90″. Mars is too far away to make out detail on its surface, except maybe a polar cap. Its apparent diameter is 4.50″. Venus’ apparent diameter is 9.88″ and will be added next week. Mercury’s apparent diameter is 6.2″. The cutoff for whether to show a planet here is an apparent diameter of 10″ or greater. The ” symbol means seconds of arc (1/3600th of a degree). Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).
Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on May 5, 2021. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 6th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

Categories: Uncategorized

05/04/2021 – Ephemeris – We cross Halley’s Comet debris this week

May 4, 2021 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Tuesday, May 4th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 23 minutes, setting at 8:51, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:26. The Moon, 1 day past last quarter, will rise at 4:20 tomorrow morning.

The Eta Aquariid meteor shower will reach their peak for us Thursday morning the 6th. The Eta Aquariids are caused by bits of Halley’s Comet, passing the Earth’s orbit heading out from the Sun. The Orionids of late October are debris of Halley’s comet passing the Earth’s orbit heading in toward the Sun. The Eta Aquariids are named for the star nearest the radiant of the meteor shower. The constellation of Aquarius has many shower radiants, which is why the shower is named for a star in Aquarius. The radiant rises shortly before 3:30am and astronomical twilight begins an hour later. There’s perhaps another half hour of visibility after that. The peak will occur Thursday morning where 20 meteors per hour or more might be seen.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

The sky dome for 4:30 am May 6, 2021. The Eta Aquariid radiant is near Jupiter. It looks like
two other minor meteor showers are active then with only a handful of meteors an hour
compared to the Eta Aquariids’ somewhat higher rates. The funny looking “n” character
next to Aquariid is the Greek letter Eta. Chart created using Stellarium.
Halley's meteor shower
We get two meteor showers from Halley’s Comet. The Orionids, when Halley is approaching
the inner solar system, and the Eta Aquariids when it’s leaving.
Credit my LookingUp program.

05/03/2021 – Ephemeris – The constellation of Virgo

May 3, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Monday, May 3rd. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 21 minutes, setting at 8:50, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:28. The Moon, at last quarter today, will rise at 3:52 tomorrow morning.

Tonight in the sky: to the southeast is the bright star Spica. Another way to find the star is to find the Big Dipper high overhead and follow the arc of the handle to the bright star Arcturus, and straighten the arc to a spike to meet Spica. It is in the constellation and member of the zodiac: Virgo the virgin. Virgo is a large constellation of a reclining woman holding a stalk of wheat. The bright star in the center of the constellation, Spica, is the head of that spike of wheat; and as such it ruled over the harvest in two of Virgo’s guises as the goddesses Persephone and Ceres. Ceres is now a dwarf planet and the root of the word cereal. Virgo is also identified as Astraea the goddess of justice. The constellation of Libra, the scales of justice, lies at her feet.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Finding Virgo
Star hop from the Big Dipper through Arcturus to Spica and Virgo. Orientation for 10:30 pm. Created using Stellarium.

04/30/2021 – Ephemeris – Previewing March skies

April 30, 2021 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Arbor Day, Friday, April 30th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 13 minutes, setting at 8:46, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:32. The Moon, 3 days before last quarter, will rise at 1:34 tomorrow morning.

The month of May starts tomorrow, when spring really gets going. Daylight hours in the Interlochen/Traverse City area will increase from 14 hours and 15 minutes tomorrow to 15 hours 19 minutes on the 31st. The altitude, or angle, of the Sun above the southern horizon at local noon will ascend from 61 degrees now to 67 degrees at month’s end. The altitude of the Sun in the Straits area will be a degree lower than that, but your daylight hours will be a few minutes longer. Local apparent noon this month, when the Sun passes due south, will be about 1:38 p.m. This is the month of the Eta Aquariid meteor shower which will reach its peak next week Thursday morning. There will be about a 2-hour viewing period starting at 3:15 am. We will get a chance to see the beginning of a lunar eclipse near sunrise on Wednesday the 26th.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

May Evening Star Chart

Star Chart for May 2021 (11 p.m. EDT May 15, 2021). Created using my LookingUp program. Click on image to enlarge.

The planets and stars are plotted for the 15th at 11 p.m. EDT in the evening and 5 a.m. for the morning chart. These are the chart times. Note that Traverse City is located approximately 45 minutes behind our time meridian, West 75° longitude. (An hour 45 minutes behind our daylight saving time meridian during EDT). To duplicate the star positions on a planisphere you may have to set it to 1 hour 45 minutes earlier than the current time.
Note the chart times of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. are for the 15th. For each week before the 15th add ½ hour (28 minutes if you’re picky). For each week after the 15th subtract ½ hour, or 28 minutes. The planet positions are updated each Wednesday on this blog. For planet positions on dates other than the 15th, check the Wednesday planet posts on this blog for weekly positions.

May Morning Star Chart

Star Chart for May mornings 2021 (5 a.m. EDT May 15, 2020). Created using my LookingUp program. Click on image to enlarge.

For a list of constellation names to go with the abbreviations click here.

  • Pointer stars at the front of the bowl of the Big Dipper point to Polaris the North Star.
  • Leaky dipper drips on Leo
  • Follow the arc of the handle of the Big Dipper to the star Arcturus, and
  • Extend like a spike to Spica,
  • EaqR is the radiant of the Aquariid meteor shower that peaks on the 5th.  Best viewing is before the peak this year due to the bright Moon.

Twilight Limits, Nautical and Astronomical

      EDT        
  Morning Twilight Evening Twilight Dark Night Moon
Date Astro. Nautical Nautical Astro. Start End Illum.
2021-05-01 4h40m 5h24m 22h02m 22h47m 22h47m 1h35m 0.67
2021-05-02 4h38m 5h23m 22h04m 22h49m 22h49m 2h32m 0.57
2021-05-03 4h36m 5h21m 22h05m 22h51m 22h51m 3h17m 0.46
2021-05-04 4h33m 5h19m 22h07m 22h53m 22h53m 3h52m 0.36
2021-05-05 4h31m 5h17m 22h09m 22h55m 22h55m 4h20m 0.27
2021-05-06 4h29m 5h16m 22h10m 22h57m 22h57m 4h29m 0.18
2021-05-07 4h27m 5h14m 22h12m 22h59m 22h59m 4h27m 0.11
2021-05-08 4h25m 5h12m 22h13m 23h01m 23h01m 4h25m 0.06
2021-05-09 4h23m 5h11m 22h15m 23h03m 23h03m 4h23m 0.02
2021-05-10 4h21m 5h09m 22h16m 23h05m 23h05m 4h21m 0
2021-05-11 4h19m 5h07m 22h18m 23h07m 23h07m 4h19m 0
2021-05-12 4h17m 5h06m 22h19m 23h09m 23h09m 4h17m 0.02
2021-05-13 4h15m 5h04m 22h21m 23h11m 23h11m 4h15m 0.05
2021-05-14 4h13m 5h03m 22h23m 23h13m 4h13m 0.1
2021-05-15 4h11m 5h01m 22h24m 23h15m 0h07m 4h11m 0.17
2021-05-16 4h09m 5h00m 22h26m 23h17m 1h00m 4h09m 0.25
2021-05-17 4h07m 4h58m 22h27m 23h19m 1h46m 4h07m 0.34
2021-05-18 4h05m 4h57m 22h28m 23h21m 2h25m 4h05m 0.44
2021-05-19 4h03m 4h56m 22h30m 23h23m 2h58m 4h03m 0.54
2021-05-20 4h01m 4h54m 22h31m 23h24m 3h26m 4h01m 0.65
2021-05-21 4h00m 4h53m 22h33m 23h26m 3h51m 4h00m 0.76
2021-05-22 3h58m 4h52m 22h34m 23h28m 0.85
2021-05-23 3h56m 4h51m 22h36m 23h30m 0.92
2021-05-24 3h54m 4h49m 22h37m 23h32m 0.98
2021-05-25 3h53m 4h48m 22h38m 23h34m 1
2021-05-26 3h51m 4h47m 22h40m 23h36m 0.99
2021-05-27 3h49m 4h46m 22h41m 23h38m 0.95
2021-05-28 3h48m 4h45m 22h42m 23h39m 23h39m 0.89
2021-05-29 3h46m 4h44m 22h43m 23h41m 23h41m 0h19m 0.81
2021-05-30 3h45m 4h43m 22h45m 23h43m 23h43m 1h11m 0.72
2021-05-31 3h44m 4h42m 22h46m 23h44m 23h44m 1h52m 0.61

The twilight calendar was generated using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts), with some corrections.

See my blog post: Twilight Zone for the definitions of the different periods of twilight here: https://bobmoler.wordpress.com/2018/09/27/.

NASA Calendar of Planetary Events

May  1  Sa            Venus: 9.4° E
     1  Sa   5:37 am  Moon South Dec.: 25.6° S
     3  Mo   1:02 pm  Moon-Saturn: 4.4° N
     3  Mo   3:50 pm  Last Quarter
     3  Mo  11:01 pm  Mercury-Pleiades: 2.2° S
     4  Tu   5:00 pm  Moon-Jupiter: 4.9° N
     4  Tu   9:30 pm  Eta Aquariid Shower: ZHR = 60
    11  Tu   3:00 pm  New Moon
    11  Tu   5:54 pm  Moon Apogee: 406500 km
    13  Th   6:29 am  Moon Ascending Node
    13  Th   1:59 pm  Moon-Mercury: 2.4° N
    15  Sa   6:25 pm  Moon North Dec.: 25.6° N
    16  Su  12:47 am  Moon-Mars: 1.6° S
    17  Mo   1:59 am  Mercury Elongation: 22° E
    17  Mo   9:08 pm  Moon-Beehive: 3.1° S
    19  We   3:13 pm  First Quarter
    25  Tu   9:52 pm  Moon Perigee: 357300 km
    26  We   7:14 am  Full Moon
    26  We   7:19 am  Total Lunar Eclipse (Start is visible here)
    26  We   3:38 pm  Moon Descending Node
    28  Fr   3:21 pm  Moon South Dec.: 25.6° S
    28  Fr  11:01 pm  Mercury-Venus: 0.4° N
    30  Su   9:22 pm  Moon-Saturn: 4.3° N
    31  Mo   7:39 am  Mars-Pollux: 5.3° S
Jun  1  Tu            Venus: 17.5° E

Sky Events Calendar by Fred Espenak and Sumit Dutta (NASA’s GSFC),
http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SKYCAL/SKYCAL.html.

Sun and Moon Rising and Setting Events

LU                  Ephemeris of Sky Events for Interlochen/TC
May, 2021    Local time zone: EDT
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
| DATE |  SUN     SUN  DAYLIGHT|   TWILIGHT*    |MOON  RISE OR    ILLUM |
|      |  RISE    SET    HOURS |  END    START  |PHASE SET** TIME FRACTN|
+=======================================================================+
|Sat  1| 06:32a  08:48p  14:15 | 10:00p  05:20a |      Rise 02:32a   70%|
+------+-----------------------+----------------+-----------------------+
|Sun  2| 06:30a  08:49p  14:18 | 10:02p  05:18a |      Rise 03:17a   59%|
|Mon  3| 06:29a  08:50p  14:21 | 10:03p  05:16a |L Qtr Rise 03:52a   48%|
|Tue  4| 06:28a  08:51p  14:23 | 10:05p  05:14a |      Rise 04:20a   38%|
|Wed  5| 06:26a  08:53p  14:26 | 10:06p  05:13a |      Rise 04:44a   28%|
|Thu  6| 06:25a  08:54p  14:28 | 10:08p  05:11a |      Rise 05:04a   20%|
|Fri  7| 06:24a  08:55p  14:31 | 10:09p  05:09a |      Rise 05:24a   13%|
|Sat  8| 06:22a  08:56p  14:33 | 10:11p  05:08a |      Rise 05:43a    7%|
+------+-----------------------+----------------+-----------------------+
|Sun  9| 06:21a  08:57p  14:36 | 10:13p  05:06a |      Rise 06:03a    3%|
|Mon 10| 06:20a  08:58p  14:38 | 10:14p  05:04a |      Rise 06:25a    1%|
|Tue 11| 06:18a  09:00p  14:41 | 10:16p  05:03a |New   Set  09:03p    0%|
|Wed 12| 06:17a  09:01p  14:43 | 10:17p  05:01a |      Set  10:06p    1%|
|Thu 13| 06:16a  09:02p  14:45 | 10:19p  05:00a |      Set  11:08p    4%|
|Fri 14| 06:15a  09:03p  14:48 | 10:20p  04:58a |      Set  12:07a    9%|
|Sat 15| 06:14a  09:04p  14:50 | 10:22p  04:57a |      Set  01:00a   15%|
+------+-----------------------+----------------+-----------------------+
|Sun 16| 06:13a  09:05p  14:52 | 10:23p  04:55a |      Set  01:46a   23%|
|Mon 17| 06:12a  09:06p  14:54 | 10:25p  04:54a |      Set  02:25a   32%|
|Tue 18| 06:11a  09:08p  14:56 | 10:26p  04:52a |      Set  02:57a   42%|
|Wed 19| 06:10a  09:09p  14:59 | 10:28p  04:51a |F Qtr Set  03:26a   52%|
|Thu 20| 06:09a  09:10p  15:01 | 10:29p  04:50a |      Set  03:51a   63%|
|Fri 21| 06:08a  09:11p  15:03 | 10:30p  04:48a |      Set  04:14a   73%|
|Sat 22| 06:07a  09:12p  15:04 | 10:32p  04:47a |      Set  04:38a   83%|
+------+-----------------------+----------------+-----------------------+
|Sun 23| 06:06a  09:13p  15:06 | 10:33p  04:46a |      Set  05:04a   91%|
|Mon 24| 06:05a  09:14p  15:08 | 10:35p  04:45a |      Set  05:33a   97%|
|Tue 25| 06:04a  09:15p  15:10 | 10:36p  04:44a |      Set  06:09a  100%|
|Wed 26| 06:04a  09:16p  15:12 | 10:37p  04:42a |Full  Rise 09:57p  100%|
|Thu 27| 06:03a  09:17p  15:13 | 10:39p  04:41a |      Rise 11:14p   96%|
|Fri 28| 06:02a  09:18p  15:15 | 10:40p  04:40a |      Rise 12:19a   91%|
|Sat 29| 06:01a  09:19p  15:17 | 10:41p  04:39a |      Rise 01:11a   83%|
+------+-----------------------+----------------+-----------------------+
|Sun 30| 06:01a  09:19p  15:18 | 10:42p  04:38a |      Rise 01:52a   74%|
|Mon 31| 06:00a  09:20p  15:19 | 10:43p  04:38a |      Rise 02:23a   64%|
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
* Nautical Twilight
** Moonrise or moonset, whichever occurs between sunrise and sunset

Generated using my LookingUp for DOS program.

Categories: Ephemeris Program, Month preview Tags:

04/29/2021 – Ephemeris – A star cluster that seems out of place

April 29, 2021 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Thursday, April 29th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 10 minutes, setting at 8:45, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:33. The Moon, 3 days past full, will rise at 12:25 tomorrow morning.

Looking to the southeast these nights one can find the dim constellation of Coma Berenices, or Berenice’s hair. It’s located near the bottom of a triangle between Leo, Boötes the Big Dipper. It’s best seen on a moonless night as a sprinkling of faint stars that look like strands of hair. It is a star cluster some 271 light years away, the second-closest star cluster to the Earth, after the Hyades that marks the face of Taurus the bull, at about 160 light years. Coma Berenices is located at an odd spot for an open or galactic star cluster. It’s as far from the milky band as you can get. Most galactic star clusters are close or in that band. However, due to its closeness Coma Berenices is north of the solar system, as we both orbit the center of the Milky Way.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Coma Berenices finder chart
Coma Berenices finder chart. Created using Stellarium.

Coma Berenices and the galactic pole
Coma Berenices and galactic coordinated showing how close to the galactic pole it is. Created using Cartes du Ciel

04/28/2021 – Ephemeris – Searching for the naked-eye planets for this week

April 28, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, April 28th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 7 minutes, setting at 8:44, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:35. The Moon, 2 days past full, will rise at 11:06 this evening.

Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week. Unfortunately the only one you’ll find in the evening is Mars. It can be found in the west at 10 pm tonight, in the constellation of Gemini the twins. Tonight it’s just above Castor’s foot. Mars will set at 1:21 am. Both Venus and Mercury are now just east of the Sun and to close to it to be spotted. Venus will be setting 43 minutes after sunset, with Mercury setting 27 minutes later. We should start spotting Mercury next week. It will be late May or early June before Venus will be easily seen. Jupiter and Saturn, are west of the Sun in the morning twilight. Saturn will rise at 3:24 am, with Jupiter rising at 4:03 am. By 6 am they will be low in the southeast. Jupiter, on the left, is the brighter of the two.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Venus and Mercury marginally visible over a Lake Michigan horizon 16 minutes after sunset at 9 pm tonight April 28, 2021. Venus will be 4 degrees altitude, Mercury will be 7 degrees altitude.
Mars finder animation for 10 pm tonight, April 28, 2021. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.
The waning gibbous Moon as it might be seen in binoculars or small telescope at midnight overnight April 29, 2021. Created using Stellarium.
Jupiter and Saturn in the morning twilight of 6 am tomorrow morning, April 29, 2021. Created using Stellarium.
Saturn and Jupiter as seen in a small telescope at the same magnification. Apparent diameters: Saturn, 16.65″, rings, 38.78″; Jupiter, 37.26″. Mars is too far away to make out detail on its surface, except maybe a polar cap. Its apparent diameter is 4.67″. Venus’ apparent diameter is 9.81″ and will be added next week. Mercury’s apparent diameter is 6.2″. The cutoff for whether to show a planet here is an apparent diameter of 10″ or greater. The ” symbol means seconds of arc (1/3600th of a degree). Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).
Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on April 28, 2021. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 29th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.