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11/14/2018 – Ephemeris – The bright planets this week

November 13, 2018

Ephemeris for Wednesday, November 14th. The Sun will rise at 7:38. It’ll be up for 9 hours and 37 minutes, setting at 5:15. The Moon, 1 day before first quarter, will set at 11:18 this evening.

Let’s look at the bright planets for tonight. Two of them are visible in the evening sky. Jupiter will set too soon after sunset to be seen. It will set only 29 minutes after the Sun. Saturn, the ringed planet, will start the evening low in the southwestern sky and will set at 7:59 p.m. Mars will be low in the south as the skies darken tonight. Mars will be due south at 7:15 p.m., and it will set at 12:24 a.m. Mars is moving eastward, crossing the constellation of Aquarius this month. It’s currently at the western edge of Aquarius, moving eastward and northward, so its setting time won’t change much over this month. Venus, our brilliant morning star, will rise at 5:15 a.m. in the east southeast. The blue-white star Spica is just above and right of it now.

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


Evening planets
Mars, Saturn and the Moon seen at 7 p.m. tonight November 14, 2018. Created using Stellarium.
Binocular Moon
The Moon as it might appear in binoculars or a small telescope tonight at 7 p.m. November 14, 2018. Created using Stellarium.
Venus in the a.m.
Venus in the morning sky at 7 a.m. November 15, 2018. Note the bluish star Spica above and to the right of it. Created using Stellarium.
Planets and the Moon on a single night
Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on November 14, 2018. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 15th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

Comet Notes

Two comets will be flirting with naked eye visibility later this month and next month.  Newly discovered C/2018 V1 Machholz-Fujikawa-Iwamoto.  It will be a morning object in mid-December and be its brightest at the end of this month or early December when it will be cruising through Ophiuchus. 

Comet C/2018 V1
The path of C/2018 V1 from November 15, 2018, to December 5, 2018. The labels are month, date, and expected magnitude. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Periodic comet 46P/Wirtanen is moving up from the south and is an evening object.  It will pass close to the Pleiades in mid-December and will appear near the bright star Capella around Christmas time.

The path of comet 46p/Wirtanen through December
The path of comet 46p/Wirtanen through December.  Labels are every 5 days with the comet’s name, month date and expected magnitude.  Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts). 
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