Archive for July 27, 2016

07/27/2016 – Ephemeris – All the bright planets are now in the evening sky

July 27, 2016 Comments off

Note: Mercury and Venus are in the evening sky but too low to be easily spotted, even with a Lake Michigan horizon, so I did not cover them in the program below but see the addendum.

Ephemeris for Wednesday, July 27th.  The Sun rises at 6:24.  It’ll be up for 14 hours and 49 minutes, setting at 9:13.  The Moon, 1 day past last quarter, will rise at 1:48 tomorrow morning.

Our evening planets are moving with the stars to the west, and setting almost a half hour earlier each week.  Jupiter is in the west in the evening.  It will set at 11:08 p.m.  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, moving to the southwest.  It’s above and right of its dimmer look-a-like star Antares, whose name means Rival of Mars.  The planet will set at 1:24 a.m.  The Earth is pulling ahead of Mars so it’s now 65 million miles away and tiny in telescopes.  The ringed planet Saturn is low in the south.  It’s to the left of Mars.  Saturn will pass due south at 9:53 p.m. and will set at 2:30 a.m.

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


Venus, Mercury and Jupiter

Venus, Mercury and Jupiter at 9:45 p.m. a half hour after sunset. Venus is 2 degrees above the horizon, and Mercury is 4 degrees. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter, Mars and Saturn

Jupiter, Mars and Saturn with the southern summer constellations at 10:30 p.m., July 27, 2016. Created using Stellarium.


Jupiter and its Galilean moons at 10:30 p.m. July 27, 2016. Jupiter’s apparent diameter will be 32.3″. Europa will be transiting the planet, and will probably not visible. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).


Saturn and its moons at 10:30 p.m. July 27, 2016. The apparent diameter of the planet will be 17.6″, larger than Mars’ disk. The rings span 41.1″, larger than the apparent diameter of Jupiter. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

The planets and the Moon all night

Planets at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on July 27, 2016. The night ends on the left with sunrise on July 28. 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.