Archive for January 20, 2016

01/20/2016 – Ephemeris – The planet action is in the morning sky

January 20, 2016 Comments off

Update:  This is the proper text for today

Ephemeris for Wednesday, January 20th.  The Sun will rise at 8:13.  It’ll be up for 9 hours and 20 minutes, setting at 5:34.   The Moon, 3 days before full, will set at 5:51 tomorrow morning.

Let’s check out the whereabouts of the bright naked eye planets.  All the classical planets visible from antiquity are now in the morning sky.  However Mercury is too close to the Sun, and may remain too low in the sky to spot when it’s farther from the Sun.  Jupiter will be the first to rise, actually at 10 p.m., in the east.  It’s still a morning planet since it’s not up at sunset.  Mars will rise next at 2:03 a.m. in the east-southeast.  It’s below and left of the bright star Spica.  Saturn will rise at 4:55 a.m. in the east-southeast.  Venus will rise at 6 a.m. again in the east-southeast.  Comet Catalina is a binocular object between the bowls of the Big and Little Dippers.  It’s heading across the tail of Draco the dragon.

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 21, 2016. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Saturn

Jupiter and its 4 Galilean moons at 6:30 a.m., January 21, 2016. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Saturn

Saturn and its moons at a greater magnification as for Jupiter above at 6:30 a.m., January 21, 2016. Small telescopes will show only the moon Titan. Created using Stellarium.

Comet Catalina

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 Stellarium.

Sunrise and Sunset sky

This is a chart showing the sunrise and sunset skies for January 20, 2016 showing the location of the planets, the Moon and Comet Catalina at that time. Created using my LookingUp program.

The top and bottom 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.