Archive for September 30, 2016

09/30/2016 – Ephemeris – Looking ahead to October skies

September 30, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, September 30th.  The Sun will rise at 7:40.  It’ll be up for 11 hours and 44 minutes, setting at 7:24.  The Moon is new today, and won’t be visible.

Let’s look at the skies for the month of October.  The sun will still be moving south rapidly.  Daylight hours in the Interlochen/Traverse City area and will drop from 11 hours and 41 minutes tomorrow to 10 hours, 12 minutes at month’s end..  The altitude of the sun above the southern horizon at local noon will be 42 degrees tomorrow, and will descend to 31 degrees on Halloween, also in the Interlochen area.  The Straits area will have the sun a degree lower.  Local noon, when the sun is due south will be about 1:30 p.m.  Sunrise times will increase from 7:41 tomorrow all the way to 8:20 a.m. in Interlochen and Traverse City on the 31st.  Sunset times will decrease from 7:22 p.m. tomorrow to 6:32 when the trick-or-treaters haunt our neighborhoods on Halloween.

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


October Star Chart

October star chart

Star Chart for October 2016. Created using my LookingUp program. To enlarge in Firefox right-click on image then click View image.

The planets and stars are plotted for the 15th at 9 p.m. EDT.  That is chart time.  Note, Traverse City is located approximately 45 minutes behind our time meridian.  (An hour 45 minutes behind our daylight saving time meridian.) To duplicate the star positions on a planisphere you may have to set it to 1:45 earlier than the current time if you are near your time meridian.

Evening nautical twilight ends at 8:25 p.m. EDT on the 1st, decreasing to 7:37 p.m. EDT on the 31st.

Morning nautical twilight starts at 6:38 a.m. EDT on the 1st, and increasing to 7:15 a.m. EDT on the 31st.

Add a half hour to the chart time every week before the 15th and subtract a half hour for every week after the 15th.

For a list of constellation names to go with the abbreviations click here.

  • Pointer stars at the front of the bowl of the Big Dipper point to Polaris the North Star
  • Follow the arc of the handle of the Big Dipper to the star Arcturus
  • The Summer Triangle is outlined in red.  Vega in Lyra (Lyr), Deneb in Cygnus (Cyg) and Altair in Aquila (Aql).

Calendar of Planetary Events

Credit:  Sky Events Calendar by Fred Espenak and Sumit Dutta (NASA’s GSFC)

To generate your own calendar go to

Times are Eastern Time.

    Date    Time    Event
Oct 01  Sa          Venus: 30.9° E
    03  Mo  1:30 pm Moon-Venus: 5.6° S
    04  Tu  7:02 am Moon Apogee: 406100 km
    06  Th  4:04 am Moon-Saturn: 4.2° S
    08  Sa  2:03 am Moon South Dec.: 18.5° S
    09  Su 12:33 am First Quarter
    13  Th  5:43 am Moon Descending Node
    15  Sa  6:15 am Uranus Opposition
    16  Su 12:23 am Full Moon
    16  Su  7:36 pm Moon Perigee: 357900 km
    19  We  2:18 pm Moon-Aldebaran: 0.3° S
    20  Th  7:38 pm Moon North Dec.: 18.6° N
    21  Fr 12:45 am Orionid Shower: ZHR = 20
    22  Sa  3:14 pm Last Quarter
    25  Tu 12:01 am Moon-Regulus: 1.7° N
    25  Tu  9:45 pm Moon Ascending Node
    26  We  6:54 am Venus-Antares: 3.1° N
    27  Th 11:53 am Mercury Superior Conj.
    28  Fr  5:33 am Moon-Jupiter: 1.6° S
    29  Sa  9:47 pm Venus-Saturn: 3° N
    30  Su 12:38 pm New Moon
    31  Mo  2:29 pm Moon Apogee: 406700 km
Nov 01  Tu          Venus: 37.7° E