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09/08/2017 – Ephemeris – Dance of the planets in the morning

September 8, 2017

Ephemeris for Friday, September 8th. The Sun will rise at 7:13. It’ll be up for 12 hours and 52 minutes, setting at 8:05. The Moon, 2 days past full, will rise at 9:39 this evening.

In clear skies after 6:15 or so in the morning two planets and a star can be spotted below Venus in the east. This may take binoculars to spot. Brightest of the two highest stars will be the planet Mercury, which will reach its greatest elongation from the Sun next Tuesday. The star Regulus is a bit to the left of it, and dimmer. Hardest of all to spot will be Mars, below, left of them. On the 16th Mercury and Mars will be in a very close conjunction, about one fifth of the Moon’s diameter apart. Mars, now is very far away, and is as dim as a Big Dipper star, which though bright, fares poorly in twilight. Next July when Mars is close to us, it will be brighter than Jupiter. The positions of Mercury, Regulus and Mars will change rapidly in the next week or so.

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

Addendum

Dance of the morning planets

Dance of the morning planets Mercury, Mars, Venus with the star Regulus at 6:30 a.m. (about 45 minutes before sunrise) on the mornings of September 9 through 17, 2017. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

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