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12/09/2015 – Ephemeris – The planet action is in the morning sky

December 9, 2015

Ephemeris for Wednesday, December 9th.  The Sun will rise at 8:07.  It’ll be up for 8 hours and 54 minutes, setting at 5:02.  We’re at the time of the earliest sunset.   The Moon, 2 days before new, will rise at 7:02 tomorrow morning.

Let’s check out the whereabouts of the bright naked eye planets.  Saturn and Mercury are too close to the direction of the Sun to be seen now.  In the morning sky there are three bright planets.  Jupiter will be the first to rise, at 12:39 a.m. in the east.  Mars will rise next at 2:47 a.m. in the east, followed by Venus at 4:28 a.m. also in the east.  Mars lies in line between Venus below and Jupiter above, almost halfway between the two.  Don’t confuse Mars with the star Spica which is brighter and closer to Venus.  Comet Catalina will be about half the width of a fist held at arm’s length above and left of Venus and will slowly be moving farther above Venus as the days go by.

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


Morning Planets

Jupiter, Mars and Venus appear with Comet Catalina in the southeast at 6 a.m., December 10, 2015. Comet Catalina is much fainter than shown and only sports a tail in photographs. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Jupiter

Jupiter and moons in a telescope at 6 a.m. December 10, 2015. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Venus

Venus as seen in a telescope as seen at the same magnification as Jupiter above, at 6 a,m. December 10, 2015. Created using Stellarium.

Track of Comet Catalina

Comet Catalina and Venus for the next week. Note the magnitudes for the comet are about 2 magnitude too bright. It will take binoculars or a small telescope to spot the comet which will not show a tail visually. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Planets at sunrise and sunset_111815

This is a chart showing the sunrise and sunset skies for December 9, 2015 showing the location of the planets and the Moon at that time. Created using my LookingUp program. Click on the image to enlarge.

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