Home > Ephemeris Program, Planets, The Moon > 04/02/2014 – Ephemeris – When it’s Wednesday it’s Planet Time!

04/02/2014 – Ephemeris – When it’s Wednesday it’s Planet Time!

April 2, 2014

Ephemeris for Wednesday, April 2nd.  The sun will rise at 7:21.  It’ll be up for 12 hours and 49 minutes, setting at 8:11.   The Moon, 3 days past new, will set at 11:41 this evening.

Wednesday is Bright Planets Day here on Ephemeris.   Jupiter will be in the south-southwestern sky as darkness falls tonight.  It’s cruising against the stars of Gemini now, and moving slowly eastward after spending a couple of months backtracking to the west.  It will set at 3:31 a.m. in the west-northwest.  Reddish Mars is in Virgo now above and a bit left of the bright star Spica in the late evening, which it now outshines.  Mars will rise at 8:39 p.m.  It will pass due south at 2:18 a.m.  It’s 58.6 million miles away now.  Mars is 6 days from opposition and 12 days from closest approach this go round. Saturn will rise at 11:23 p.m. in the east-southeast and pass due south at 4:20 a.m..   It’s seen against the stars of Libra the scales this year.  Venus will rise at 5:37 tomorrow morning and be seen in the southeast.

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

Addendum

Jupiter & Moon

Jupiter, the Moon and the winter constellations at 10 p.m. on April 2, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

Moon

The Moon through a small telescope at 10 p.m. on April 2, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter magnified

Jupiter and moons through a small telescope at 10 p.m. on April 2, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

Mars Rising

Mars rising at 10 p.m. on April 2, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

Mars Magnified

Mars through a telescope at 11 p.m. on April 2, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

Mars and Saturn

Mars and Saturn with some spring and summer constellations at 6 a.m. on April 3, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

Mars Magnified

Mars through a telescope at 6 a.m. on April 3, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

In the morning Mars currently turns a more interesting face to us than in the evening.  The big dark area on the lower left of Mars is Syrtis Major, which translates to the “Great Swamp”.  I prefer the Latin.  It is the most recognizable dark features on the planet.  Where it appears on the face of Mars depends on the optical arrangement and eyepiece placement in your telescope.

Saturn magnified

Saturn through a telescope at 6 a.m. on April 3, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

Venus in twilight

Venus in twilight at 6:30 a.m. on April 3, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

Venus magnified

Venus through a telescope at 6:30 a.m. on April 3, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

 

 

 

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  1. Catie Cadge-Moore
    April 5, 2014 at 12:35 am

    Hi Bob,

    Can I ask you: why do your posts place planets in neighboring constellations from astrological placements in Western astrology? ie. why does mars appear in Virgo when an astrological ephemeris says it is currently in Libra? Just curious…thanks! Catie

    • April 6, 2014 at 12:46 am

      Hi Catie,
      In my posts the planets are in the actual constellations as they appear in the sky. This is an astronomy site, not an astrology site. Most astrologers keep the constellations, or signs as they call them, of the zodiac in the same place as they were in the time of Ptolemy some 1,900 years ago. Times and the earth have moved on. Due to the gravitational effects of the Moon, Sun and planets the earth’s axis has a slow wobble, called precession. One complete wobble takes about 26,000 years. So in the 1,900 years since Ptolemy the vernal equinox has slipped from Aries to Pisces, as can be seen in this chart I made for the vernal equinox this year.
      Vernal equinox for 2014
      We astronomers have a low regard for astrologers. Why, especially now, astrology has nothing to do with the stars, or even the constellations, which are imaginary anyway. Sorry, but that’s how I feel. Check out a book on astronomy and behold the real wonders of the universe.

      • Catie Cadge-Moore
        April 7, 2014 at 1:47 am

        Thanks Bob! I appreciate your time and thoughts…Catie

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