Archive for January 8, 2016

01/08/2016 – Ephemeris – A telescope clinic tonight and Venus and Saturn get cozy tomorrow morning

January 8, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, January 8th.  The Sun will rise at 8:19.  It’ll be up for 9 hours even, setting at 5:19.   The Moon, 1 day before new, will rise at 7:35 tomorrow morning.

If you’ve received a telescope for Christmas and are having trouble setting it up, or have an unused one in a closet somewhere, bring them to Northwestern Michigan College’s Rogers Observatory tonight at 8 p.m.  The Grand Traverse Astronomical Society will be holding their annual telescope clinic to help you understand and use your telescope.  The clinic will extend through the period that will be set aside for a star party if it’s clear.  Tomorrow morning the planets Venus and Saturn will appear close together low on the southeastern horizon.  They should be high enough to spot by 6 a.m. and will be visible in the brightening twilight til about quarter to eight a.m.  Dimmer Saturn will be about 2/3rds of a Moon width to the right of Venus.

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


Morning Planets

Mars with Venus and Saturn close together. at 6 a.m. January 9, 2016. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic view of the conjunction

Low power telescope view of Venus and Saturn at 6 a.m. January 9, 2016. At this time the planets are about 20 minutes of arc apart, about 2/3rds the width of the Moon apart. Created using Stellarium.

The actual conjunction of these two planets will occur at 2:42 a.m. (7:42 Hrs UT).  Folks in the UK and Europe will spot these two planets even closer together.