Home > Comet, Ephemeris Program, Planets > 04/05/2017 – Ephemeris – It’s Wednesday, do you know where your bright planets are?

04/05/2017 – Ephemeris – It’s Wednesday, do you know where your bright planets are?

April 5, 2017

Ephemeris for Wednesday, April 5th.  The Sun will rise at 7:15.  It’ll be up for 12 hours and 59 minutes, setting at 8:15.  The Moon, 2 days past first quarter, will set at 5:04 tomorrow morning.

In the evening twilit sky tonight will feature the elusive planet Mercury.   This tiny planet might be seen to the upper right of the Sun’s setting point starting about 9 p.m.  It will set at 9:55 p.m.  Mercury is getting rapidly fainter because it’s now exhibiting a diminishing crescent to us.  It takes a good telescope and very steady skies to spot Mercury’s phase.  Mars is still hanging on, in the west above and left of Mercury, and will set at 11:09 p.m.  Jupiter will rise about sunset a half hour before the star Spica, which it will be seen to hang out with this year.  Jupiter will be still seen in the morning sky low in the southwest at 6 a.m.  Saturn then is in the south above the Teapot figure of Sagittarius.  It will rise at 2:06 a.m. in the east-southeast.

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


Western planets in the twilight

Mercury and Mars low in the west at 9 p.m. April 5, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and the Moon

Jupiter and the Moon at 9:30 p.m. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and moons

Jupiter and its moons as they might be seen in a telescope at 11 p.m. April 5, 2017. It is usually best to let planets rise a bit to minimize the atmospheric effects on the image. Created using Cartes du Ciel.

The Moon tonight

The Moon as it might be seen in binoculars at 9:30 p.m. April 5, 2016. Note the prominent crater Copernicus emerging into sunlight on the left of the Moon.  Created using Stellarium.

If you’d like to check out the Moon in a telescope tonight, check out this posting : https://bobmoler.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/03102014-ephemeris-observibg-the-moon-tonight-and-the-crater-copernicus/

Planets in the morning

The planets visible at 6 a.m. April 6, 2017 Venus is just below the eastern horizon at this hour. Created using Stellarium.

Saturn and its moons

Saturn and its moons at 6 a.m. April 6th, 2017. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Planets and Moon on a single night sunset 04/05/2017 to sunrise 04/06/2017

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on April 5, 2017. The night ends on the left with sunrise on April 6. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

A comet dramatically brightens

Comet 2017 E4 Lovejoy finder chart.

Here is the track for Comet 2017 E4 Lovejoy. This comet was expected to be 14th magnitude, but it’s brightness shot up to around 6.5, within range of binoculars. I’m only plotting 10 days. It should be brightest about mid-month, but is poorly placed for observation, plus we’re fighting a bright Moon. The curved horizontal line near the bottom is the Horizon on April 4, 2017. Created using Cartes du Ciel.

Universe today has lots more on the new Comet Lovejoy here:  https://www.universetoday.com/134848/surprise-comet-e4-lovejoy-brightens/

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