Home > Ephemeris Program, Planets > 12/17/2014 – Ephemeris – Your weekly look at the bright planets

12/17/2014 – Ephemeris – Your weekly look at the bright planets

December 17, 2014

Ephemeris for Wednesday, December 17th.  The sun will rise at 8:13.  It’ll be up for 8 hours and 49 minutes, setting at 5:03.   The moon, 3 days past last quarter, will rise at 4:19 tomorrow morning.

Venus is slowly moving from around the sun into the evening sky.  It now sets at 5:55 p.m., 52 minutes after the sun.  It will be tough to spot at all  New Year’s Eve might be a good time to start to see it.  Mars is still low in the southwest at 7 p.m.  It’s now moving through the constellation of Capricornus and will set tonight at 8:32 p.m.  Jupiter, which will be our Christmas Star this year will rise in the east at 9:32 p.m.  It’s near the sickle-shaped head of Leo.  Jupiter has just started to turn from eastward or direct motion to retrograde, or westward motion among the stars.  This is an effect that happens because the Earth is passing Jupiter, a motion shared by all the planets that baffled the ancients who thought the Earth to be motionless.  Saturn will rise in the east-southeast at 5:58 a.m.

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

Addendum

Venus at Sunset

Venus at Sunset. Only 7 degrees above the horizon. Created using Cartes du Ceil (Sky Charts).

Mars

Mars and the constellations plus the ecliptic (red line) at 7 p.m. on December 17, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

 

Jupiter and the winter constellations

Jupiter and the winter constellations at 11 p.m. on December 17, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Jupiter

Jupiter and moons in a telescope. The moons Io, Europa and Ganymede all will be moving away from Jupiter over the evening and morning. Image as of 11 p.m. December 17, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter's Retrograde motion

Jupiter’s Retrograde motion. Created using Cartes du Ceil (Sky Charts).

Saturn and the Moon

Saturn and the Moon at 7 a.m. on December 18, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

Moon

The Moon as it would appear in binoculars on December 18, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

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