Home > Comet, Ephemeris Program, Observing, Planets > 12/31/2014 – Ephemeris – A New Year’s look at the bright planets and a comet

12/31/2014 – Ephemeris – A New Year’s look at the bright planets and a comet

December 31, 2014

Ephemeris for New Years Eve, Wednesday, December 31st.  The sun will rise at 8:19.  It’ll be up for 8 hours and 52 minutes, setting at 5:11.   The moon, 3 days past first quarter, will set at 4:42 tomorrow morning.

Lets take a last look at the bright planets for 2014.  Mercury joins Venus low in the southwest.  It will be below and right of Venus and will set at 6:07 p.m.  Venus is low in the southwest shortly after sunset.  It now sets at 6:26 p.m., an hour and 15 minutes after the sun.  It will be seen low in the southwestern twilight by 5:55 p.m.  Mars is low in the southwest at 7 p.m. and is in the constellation of Capricornus.  The Red Planet will set tonight at 8:36 p.m.  Jupiter will rise in the east at 8:33 p.m.  It’s near the sickle-shaped head of Leo.  Jupiter is now moving slowly westward.  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. Early risers will be able to spot Saturn which will rise in the east-southeast at 5:10 a.m.

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

Addendum

Mercury, Venus and Mars

Mercury, Venus and Mars are seen in the southwestern sky shortly after sunset. In this case 5:45 p.m. December 31, 2014, only 34 minutes after sunset. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter, Moon

Jupiter, the Moon and the winter constellations at 9:30 p.m. December 31, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

The Moon

The Moon as it will appear in binoculars at 9:30 p.m. December 31, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Jupiter

Jupiter seen through a telescope at 9:30 p.m. December 31, 2014. Note that Ganymede and Europa will appear very close to each other. Created using Stellarium.

Saturn

Saturn and the late spring and early summer constellations at 7 a.m. New Year’s Day 2015. Created using Stellarium.

Comet Lovejoy

Comet Lovejoy Track

Comet Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) plotted for 9 p.m. from 12/31/2014 to 1/06/2015. Created using Cartes du Ceil (Sky Charts).

 

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