Archive for November 21, 2018

11/21/2018 – Ephemeris – The bright planets and two comets for this week

November 21, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, November 21st. The Sun will rise at 7:47. It’ll be up for 9 hours and 21 minutes, setting at 5:09. The Moon, 2 days before full, will set at 6:47 tomorrow morning.

Let’s look at the bright planets for tonight. Two of them are visible in the evening sky. Jupiter is 5 days from passing behind the Sun, and will officially be a morning planet next Monday. Saturn, the ringed planet, will start the evening low in the southwestern sky and will set at 7:35 p.m. Mars will be in the south as the skies darken tonight. Mars will be due south at 7:03 p.m., and it will set at 12:20 a.m. Mars is moving eastward, crossing the constellation of Aquarius this month. It’s currently about midway through Aquarius, moving eastward and northward, so its setting time won’t change much over this month. Venus, our brilliant morning star, will rise at 4:50 a.m. in the east southeast. The blue-white star Spica is to the right and a bit above it.

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


Planets and the Moon

Click on images to enlarge

Evening planets
Mars, Saturn and the Moon seen at 6:30 p.m. tonight November 21, 2018. Created using Stellarium.
Binocular Moon
The Moon as it might appear in binoculars or a small telescope tonight at 6:30 p.m. November 21, 2018. Created using Stellarium.
Venus in the morning
Venus in the morning sky at 7 a.m. November 22, 2018. Note the bluish star Spica to the right of it. Created using Stellarium.
Telescopic Planets
Saturn, Mars and Venus with the same magnification at 6:30 p.m. tonight and 7 a.m. or Venus tomorrow the 22nd. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).
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 21, 2018. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 22nd. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

Current relatively bright comets

Comet C/2018 V1 ( Machholz-Fujikawa-Iwamoto )
Comet C/2018 V1 ( Machholz-Fujikawa-Iwamoto ) positions for the next week. Positions are marked with month-date and magnitude. The comet is currently running about a magnitude brighter than predicted and may make magnitude 5.5 by early December. The star field position is for 7:15 a.m. on the 22nd. Remember we are in morning twilight here. Subtract 4 minutes per day after that. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Comet 46P/Wirtanen
Comet 46P/Wirtanen positions for the next week. Positions are marked with month-date and magnitude. The comet comet appears to be running about 4 magnitudes brighter than the predictions and may make magnitude 3 by mid-December. Star field position is for 9 p.m. on the 21st. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

The new magnitude estimates are from Seiichi Yoshida’s website and his Weekly Information about Bright Comets: