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