Home > Ephemeris Program, Planets, The Moon > 12/21/2016 – Ephemeris – A look at the bright planets at the start of winter

12/21/2016 – Ephemeris – A look at the bright planets at the start of winter

December 21, 2016

Ephemeris for the winter solstice Wednesday, December 21st.  The Sun will rise at 8:17.  It’ll be up for 8 hours and 48 minutes, setting at 5:05.  The Moon, 1 day past last quarter, will rise at 1:46 tomorrow morning.

Let’s look at the naked eye planets now that it’s officially winter as of 5:45 a.m.  In the east-southeast before 7:30 these mornings. Jupiter can be glimpsed in the morning twilight.  Jupiter will rise tomorrow at 2:16 a.m.  and will appear below the Moon.  Venus and Mars are in the evening sky. At 6 p.m. these planets will be seen in the southwest and low in the sky.  Venus is unmistakable as the brilliant evening star,  Mars will be above and left of it.  Venus will set at 8:46.  Mars will set at 10:12.  Mars’ setting time hasn’t changed much in the last 2 months.  Venus is slowly heading northward for the rest of it’s evening appearance, and is moving higher in the sky, and is closing in on it’s greatest eastern elongation from the Sun.

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

Addendum

Evening planets

Venus and Mars in the evening twilight of about an hour after sunset. 6 p.m. December 21, 2016. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Venus

Venus as it might be seen in a telescope at 6 p.m. December 21, 2016. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and the Moon

Jupiter and the Moon at 7 a.m. December 22, 2016. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The Moon as it might appear in binoculars at 7 a.m. December 22, 2016. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and moons

Jupiter and its Galilean moons at 7 a.m. December 22, 2016. Io is behind Jupiter at this time, however it will clear the planet by 7:38 a.m. EST (12:38 UT). Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Update 8:10 a.m.

Planets and Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night

Planets and Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on December 21, 2016. The night ends on the left with sunrise on December 22. Click on image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

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