07/08/2015 – Ephemeris – The bright planets are hanging around in the evening.
Ephemeris for Wednesday, July 8th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 24 minutes, setting at 9:29. The Moon, at last quarter today, will rise at 1:30 tomorrow morning, and tomorrow the Sun will rise at 6:06.
Lets take a look at the bright planets for this week. Our evening stars Venus and Jupiter are side by side in the west by 9:45 p.m. They both will set at 11:21 p.m.. Venus’ will slide down to the Sun faster and faster in the coming weeks leaving Jupiter behind for a while. Venus will take 5 weeks to slide past the Sun. Jupiter though will take 7 weeks, so Venus will pass it again around August 4th when both are too close to the horizon and Sun to spot. There’s a third conjunction of these two in October in the morning sky with Mars nearby. Saturn is in the south in the evening twilight. It will pass due south at 10:24 p.m. and will set at 3:16 a.m. Even small telescopes can see Saturn’s rings.
Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.
Venus’ greatest brilliancy will be on Sunday the 12th. This is the point where Venus’ increasing size is countered by its decreasing phase. The brightness of Venus doesn’t change much over its orbit, and will be stay brilliant. However it will surrender to the brightening twilight as it sets closer and closer to sunset.