Archive for January 13, 2016

01/13/2016 – Ephemeris – Four bright planets are in the morning sky but one more is hiding

January 13, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, January 13th.  The Sun will rise at 8:17.  It’ll be up for 9 hours and 7 minutes, setting at 5:25.   The Moon, 3 days before first quarter, will set at 9:57 this evening.

Let’s check out the whereabouts of the bright naked eye planets.  Mercury is now only one day from inferior conjunction, passing between the Earth and the Sun.  The next inferior conjunction after this, May 9th Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun.  In the morning sky there are four bright planets.  Jupiter will be the first to rise, actually at 10:28 p.m., in the east.  Mars will rise next at 2:11 a.m. in the east-southeast.  It’s left of the bright star Spica.  Saturn will rise at 5:19 a.m.  Venus will rise at 5:47 a.m. again in the east-southeast, following Saturn.  Comet Catalina is a binocular object near the star at the end of the handle of the Big Dipper named Alkaid.  It’s heading to go between the Big and Little Dippers this week.

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


Morning Planets

Here of the morning planets. From right to left, Jupiter, Mars, Saturn and Venus. Time: 6:30 a.m., January 14, 2016. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Jupiter

Jupiter and its 4 Galilean moons at 6:30 a.m., January 14, 2016. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Telescopic Saturn

Saturn and its moons through a telescope at 6:30 a.m., January 14, 2016. Small telescopes will show only the moon Titan. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Comet Catalina track for the next week

Comet Catalina’s path for the next week. Note the magnitudes for the comet are about correct. 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).

Sunrise and Sunset sky

This is a chart showing the sunrise and sunset skies for January 13, 2016 showing the location of the planets, the Moon and Comet Catalina at that time. Created using my LookingUp program.

Several of the images above are shown smaller than actual size.  Image expansion lately hasn’t worked.  If you are using Firefox, right-click on the image, and then click on View Image.