Archive for July 13, 2016

07/13/2016 – Ephemeris – The evening planets continue to march westward

July 13, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, July 13th.  Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 16 minutes, setting at 9:26, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:11.  The Moon, 2 days past first quarter, will set at 2:23 tomorrow morning.

Let’s check out the bright naked eye planets tonight.  Jupiter is in the west in the evening.  It will set at 11:59 p.m.  It’s below-left of 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 starts the evening in the southern sky.  It’s above and right of its dimmer look-a-like star Antares, whose name means Rival of Mars.  Mars will be due south at 9:30 p.m. and will set at 2:09 a.m.    The Earth is pulling ahead of Mars so it’s now 58 million miles away and tiny in telescopes.  Saturn is low in the south-southeast.  It’s left of Mars.  Saturn will pass due south at 10:50 p.m. and will set at 3:27 a.m.  It’s a wonderful telescopic sight.

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


Evening planets and the Moon at 10:30 p.m. July 13, 2016. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and moons at 10:30 p.m. on July 13, 2016.  Jupiter’s apparent diameter will be 33.2″. Created using Cartes du Ciel.

The Moon as seen in a pair of binoculars or small telescope with some prominent craters labeled at 10:30 p.m. on July 13, 2016.  Created using Virtual Moon.Atlas.

Mars as seen in a large telescope.  Note the decidedly gibbous phase at 10:30 p.m. on July 13, 2016. Mars’ apparent diameter will be 14.8″. Created using Cartes du Ciel.

Saturn and its larger moonsat 10:30 p.m. on July 13, 2016. Saturn’s apparent diameter wil be 18.0″ and the rings 41.9″ Created using Cartes du Ciel.

All the planets and the Moon from sunset July 13, 2016 to sunrise on the 14th. Created using my Looking up program.


I noticed Venus and Mercury near each other but very low in the sky, so I investigated.  They are too low to be easily seen.

Venus and Mercury at 9:45 p.m., about 20 minutes after sunset tonight. Venus is 2.5 degrees above a flat horizon, and Mercury is 2 degrees.

Saturday night, same time, Venus will be 3 degrees up with Mercury above it in conjunction. Created using Stellarium. Give it a go.  Good luck!

Note:  The images and captions were uploaded via my phone after a storm too out the WiFi in the condo we’re staying in on vacation.