Archive for April 13, 2017

04/13/2017 – Ephemeris – Venus is in the morning sky

April 13, 2017 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, April 13th.  The Sun will rise at 7:01.  It’ll be up for 13 hours and 23 minutes, setting at 8:25.  The Moon, 2 days past full, will rise at 10:52 this evening.

Venus is beginning to make its morning appearance now, rising just before 6 a.m.  It’s north and west of the Sun, but it’s path away from the Sun is at a low angle to the horizon.  Venus is now in its crescent phase, which is getting fatter, as it separates from the Sun.  It is also getting smaller in our telescopes as it recedes from us. Venus has no natural satellites,  however it currently has a small robotic one.  It is Japan’s Akatsuki or Dawn spacecraft.  Launched in 2010, it failed to fire its rocket engine for the entire time needed to drop it into orbit of Venus.  The engineers devised a plan to chase Venus for 5 years and gently maneuver the spacecraft into orbit using only its attitude thrusters.  This they accomplished in December of 2015.

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


Telescopic Venus

Telescopic Venus as created with Stellarium for early morning April 14, 2017. Stellarium is coloring Venus as it would be colored low in the sky.


Artists drawing of Akatsuki orbiting Venus. Credit Japanese Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS)

Localized Vortex

A localized vortex in the clouds of Venus captured by Akatsuki. Credit ISAS.

Venus cloud animation.

An animation of the clouds rotating on Venus’ night side by Akatsuki. Credit ISAS

Categories: Ephemeris Program, Venus Tags: