Home > Comet, Ephemeris Program, Planets > 11/20/2013 – Ephemeris – Where are the bright planets and Comet ISON this week?

11/20/2013 – Ephemeris – Where are the bright planets and Comet ISON this week?

November 19, 2013

Ephemeris for Wednesday, November 20th.  The sun will rise at 7:46.  It’ll be up for 9 hours and 23 minutes, setting at 5:09.   The moon, 3 days past full, will rise at 7:52 this evening.

Let’s see where the bright planets are this week.  Venus is brilliant in the southwest after sunset.  It will set at 7:52 p.m.  The giant planet Jupiter will rise at 8:31 p.m. in the east northeast.  It’s cruising against the stars of Gemini now.  It will pass due south at 7:47 a.m.  Mars will rise at 1:47 a.m. also in the east northeast.  Reddish Mars is two widths of a fist held at arm’s length below and left of the bright star Regulus in Leo now.  Comet ISON is now about magnitude 5, now meeting current brightness predictions, Officially naked eye, you’ll probably still need binoculars to spot it.  Comet ISON is below and left of the star Spica low in the east southeast and will rise about 5:50 a.m. and be visible until around 6:30 a.m. above the planet Mercury.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.



Venus low in the southwest at 6 p.m., November 20, 2013. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Venus

Telescopic view of Venus on November 20, 2013. The cloud banding will not be visible. Created using Stellarium.


Jupiter in the east at 10 p.m. on November 20, 2013. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Jupiter

A telescopic view of Jupiter at 10 p.m. The moon Io is peeking around Jupiter. Up is to the top. The view in your telescope may vary. Created using Stellarium.


The magnified Moon. Created using Stellarium.



Mars and Leo at 6 a.m. November 21, 2013. Created using Stellarium.

Comet ISON 11/20/13

Chart for finding Comet ISON this morning (November 20, 2013 at 6:30 a.m.). Chart created using Cartes du Ciel.

ISON 11/21/13

Chart for finding Comet ISON this morning (November 21, 2013 at 6:30 a.m.). Chart created using Cartes du Ciel.








  1. Mary Mantei
    November 20, 2013 at 8:02 am

    Bob, I am new to the Traverse City area and just discovered your blog this morning. Looks like a valuable resource for a lover of the night sky. Thank you!

    I moved here from the UP. Would you suggest a couple spots in the area that I could drive to on a new moon night to view the sky with as little artificial light as possible? Thanks Bob.

    • November 20, 2013 at 5:36 pm

      The darkest spots that I’ve found around here are at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. I’m a member of the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society (GTAS) and we hold at least seven star parties at the park each summer. It’s dark and generally there are no yard or street lights unless there’s a park building near by. The best spots in the park we’ve found are Platte River Point, the Dunes Climb parking lot, and Thoreson Farm. State and NPS trail head parking lots are usually plowed in the winter and are usually deserted.

      If observing Comet ISON is what you’re after, there’s a scenic view area off the west side of Center Road (M37) on Old Mission Peninsula, though you’d have to look across the road to the east. Also there’s a couple of parks in Leelanau County off M22 (Boughey) and Lee Point Road (Hendrix). Hendrix faces the southeast.

      The GTAS meets on the first Friday of the month at Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory on Birmley Rd, south of T.C. The meetings are free, and we ahve a star party after.

      Clear skies.

  2. Scott
    November 20, 2013 at 1:25 pm


    Do you care to make a prediction on Ison surviving its brush with the sun?


    • November 20, 2013 at 7:59 pm

      Hi Scott,

      I would’ve thought ISON had a better chance of not breaking up if it didn’t have that outburst last week. The nucleus may already be weakening. The sungrazing comet Lovejoy of twwo years ago lasted 9 days after perihelion before it’s nucleus broke up. Maybe something like that will happen with ISON.

      If the nucleus breaks into big pieces, the comet will get brighter for a time. If it disintegrates into small pieces, it may just disappear after after the outburst.

      I have no idea what will happen. SDO and SOHO will be tracking the comet Thanksgiving day.

      SDO’s plans:

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