Home > Ephemeris Program, Planets, The Moon > 05/18/2016 – Ephemeris – Three bright planets and the Moon grace the evening sky

05/18/2016 – Ephemeris – Three bright planets and the Moon grace the evening sky

May 18, 2016

Ephemeris for Wednesday, May 18th.  Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 57 minutes, setting at 9:08.   The Moon, 3 days before full, will set at 5:19 tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow the Sun will rise at 6:09.

Let’s see what the bright naked eye planets are up to.  Jupiter is in the south in the early evening, moving to the southwest.  It will set at 3:28 a.m.  It’s below the stars of Leo this year.  Binoculars can make out some of Jupiter’s moons, but a telescope is required to see all four bright moons and Jupiter’s cloud features.  Mars will rise at 9:26 p.m. in the east-southeast.  It’s above and right of its look-a-like star Antares, whose name means Rival of Mars.  Mars is getting closer to the Earth now, only 48 million miles (77 million km) away.  It will be closest to the Earth on the 30th.  Saturn will rise at 10:11 p.m. in the east-southeast.  It’s to the left of Mars, and once it’s been up for an hour is a beautiful sight in any telescope.

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

Addendum

Moon, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn

The Moon, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn at 11 p.m. May 18, 2016. Created using Stellarium.

The Moon

The Moon as it might be seen in binoculars at 11 p.m., May 18, 2016. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Jupiter

Jupiter and its moons as they might be seen through a telescope at 11 p.m. May 18, 2016. It’s 38.7″ in equatorial diameter. The Great Red Spot will cross the planet’s central meridian at 11:38 p.m. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Telescopic Mars

Mars as it might be seen in a large telescope with high power at 11 p.m. May 18, 2016. Mars apparent diameter is 18.2″. The central meridian will be 248.08 degrees. Syrtis Major is the large feature in the north near the polar cap. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Telescopic Saturn

Saturn and its moons at 11 p.m. May 18, 2016. The apparent diameter of the planet will be 18.4″. The rings span 42.8″, a bit larger than the apparent diameter of Jupiter. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Sunset to sunrise on a single night

Planets at Sunrise and Sunset of a single night starting with sunset on the right on May 18, 2016. The night ends on the left with sunrise on May 19. If you are using Firefox right-click on the image and select View Image to enlarge the image. That goes for all the large images.

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