Home > Ephemeris Program, Observing, Planets > 12/23/2015 – Ephemeris – Only Mercury is making a stand in the evening sky

12/23/2015 – Ephemeris – Only Mercury is making a stand in the evening sky

December 23, 2015

Ephemeris for Wednesday, December 23rd.  The Sun will rise at 8:17.  It’ll be up for 8 hours and 48 minutes, setting at 5:05.   The Moon, 2 days before full, will set at 7:04 tomorrow morning.

Let’s check out the whereabouts of the bright naked eye planets.  Mercury is becoming marginally visible very low in the southwest before it sets at 6:24 p.m. in the west-southwest.  In the morning sky there are four bright planets.  Jupiter will be the first to rise, actually at 11:49 p.m., in the east.  Mars will rise next at 2:33 a.m. also in the east, Venus will rise at 5 a.m. in the east-southeast.  Even as Venus and Jupiter separate Mars still lies almost halfway between the two.  Don’t confuse Mars with the star Spica which is brighter and below right of it.  Saturn will rise at 6:30 a.m. in the east-southeast.  Comet Catalina is a binocular object about three widths of a fist held at arm’s length directly above Venus at 6 a.m.

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

Addendum

Mercury

Mercury at 6 p.m., 55 minutes after sunset, December 23, 2015. It may be visible as early as 5:30. Binoculars will help. Created using Stellarium.

Morning Planets

The morning planets, Jupiter, Mars, Venus and Saturn, plus Comet Catalina at 7 a.m. December 24, 2015. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Jupiter

Telescopic view of Jupiter at 7 a.m. December 24, 2015. Note Europa is in transit of Jupiter at that time and would pretty much be invisible. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Venus

Telescopic view of Venus at 7 a.m. December 24, 2015. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Saturn

Telescopic view of Saturn at 7 a.m. December 24, 2015. The satellites would be pretty much invisible in the twilight. Created using Stellarium.

Note that the planets shown as they would be seen in telescopes at the same magnification.

The planets at sunrise and sunset

This is a chart showing the sunrise and sunset skies for December 23, 2015 showing the location of the planets and the Moon at that time. Created using my LookingUp program.

A note on enlarging the pictures:  Apparently WordPress is not able to enlarge pictures by clicking on them.  However if you are using Firefox and you right-click on an image, select View Image to show the image up to full size.

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