Archive for January 4, 2018

01/04/2018 – Ephemeris – Mars will pass Jupiter in the morning sky this weekend

January 4, 2018 1 comment

Ephemeris for Thursday, January 4th. The Sun will rise at 8:20. It’ll be up for 8 hours and 55 minutes, setting at 5:15. The Moon, 3 days past full, will rise at 8:44 this evening.

We have, weather permitting, been watching Mars and Jupiter getting closer together day by day in the morning sky. Their paths will cross Saturday evening as Mars slips under Jupiter. However at that time they will be below our horizon. So Saturday morning the 6th Mars will be just to the lower right of the brighter Jupiter by a bit less than he diameter of the Moon and Sunday morning the 7th Mars will be left and below Jupiter by about the same amount. After that they will continue to separate. Jupiter will stay in the constellation of Libra and enter the evening sky in early May. The Earth will catch up to Mars at the end of July. Then it will be closer to the Earth than any time since 2003. It will come as close as 35.8 million miles (57.9 million km) from the Earth.

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


Conjunction of Jupiter and Mars

An animation of the Mars-Jupiter conjunction from January 4th thru 7th at 7 a.m.. The two named stars seen Zubenelgenubi and Zubeneschamali, stars in the constellation Libra, meaning south claw and north claw respectively. Claws of Scorpius, the constellation rising to the east. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

Planets finder

Morning planets at 7 a.m. January 6th, 2018.  Mars and Jupiter labels are superimposed. Created with Stellarium.