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12/26/2018 – Ephemeris – Looking at the bright planets for the last time in 2018

December 26, 2018

Ephemeris for Wednesday, December 26th. The Sun will rise at 8:19. It’ll be up for 8 hours and 48 minutes, setting at 5:08. The Moon, 3 days before last quarter, will rise at 10:05 this evening.

Let’s look at the bright planets for the last time in 2018. In the evening sky we have Mars still visible, but Saturn is lost in the bright twilight. It will pass conjunction with the Sun on New Years day. Mars will be due south at 6:09 p.m., and it will set at 12:05 a.m. Mars is moving eastward, crossing the constellation of Pisces. Comet Wirtanen is moving northward and to the lower left of Capella, in dark skies again in the early evening, but is fading as it moves away from both the Earth and Sun. It should be visible in binoculars as a faint fuzzy spot. Venus, our brilliant morning star, will rise at 4:24 a.m. in the east-southeast. Jupiter will rise at 6:24 a.m. also in the east-southeast.

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

Addenda

Planets and the Moon

Mars in the evening

Mars at 7 p.m. tonight December 26, 2018. Created using Stellarium.

Morning planets

Morning planets Venus Jupiter this morning, December 26, 2018, at 7 a.m.. Created using Stellarium.

The Moon and Regulus

The Moon with the bright star Regulus in Leo the lion at 7 this morning, December 26, 2018.

Telescopic Venus

Telescopic view of Venus this morning December 26, 2018. Created using Stellarium.

Planets and the Moon on a single night

Planets, a comet and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on December 20, 2018. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 27th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

Comet Wirtanen

Comet 46P/Wirtanen

Comet 46P/Wirtanen positions for the next week. Positions are marked with month-date and magnitude. The observations are about 5 magnitudes brighter than shown here. Star field position is for 9 p.m. on the 26th. The comet is circumpolar, so it will not set overnight. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

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