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04/16/2014 – Ephemeris – It’s our weekly look at the classical planets

April 16, 2014 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, April 16th.  The sun rises at 6:56.  It’ll be up for 13 hours and 31 minutes, setting at 8:28.   The moon, 1 day past full, will rise at 10:14 this evening.

Wednesday is Bright Planets Day, or should I say classical planets day here on Ephemeris.   Bright Jupiter will be in the western sky as darkness falls tonight.  It will set at 2:42 a.m.  Reddish Mars is in Virgo and outshines the bright bluish star Spica below it as darkness falls.  Mars is up at sunset in the east.  It will pass due south at 1:03 a.m.  It’s 57.4 million miles away now, very near its closest.  It will set at 6:48 a.m.  Saturn will rise at 10:24 p.m. and be seen to the left of the bright moon tonight.  It will pass due south at 3:22 a.m.  The telescope will bring out Saturn’s beautiful rings, whose short dimension now is as wide as the planet.  Brilliant Venus will rise in the east at 5:22 a.m. and will stay pretty low to the horizon.

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

Addendum

Jupiter

Jupiter and the setting winter constellations in the west at 10 p.m. on April 16, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Jupiter

Jupiter and satellites through a telescope at 10 p.m. on April 16, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

Mars

Mars and some low spring constellations in the southeast at 10 p.m. on April 16, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Mars

Telescopic Mars. Actually Mars is much smaller in appearance than Jupiter. Interesting albedo* features can be seen. For 10 pm. April 16, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

* Albedo – reflectance value, dark and bright features.  Values are 1 for perfectly reflectant (white), to 0 for black.

Saturm and the Moon

Saturn and the Moon rising in the southeast at 11 p.m. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Saturn

Telescopic Saturn at 11 p.m. April 16, 2014. You may want to wait a bit for it to rise some more for clearer views. Created using Stellarium.

Saturn and Venus

Venus and Saturn at 6 a.m. April 17, 2014. Note that the Moon has scooted to the left of Saturn overnight. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Venus

Venus through a telescope at 6 a.m. April 17, 2014. Note that none of these planetary images are to the same scale. Created using Stellarium.