Archive for March 18, 2020

03/18/2020 – Ephemeris – Let’s look at the naked-eye planets for this week

March 18, 2020 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, March 18th. Today the Sun will be up for 12 hours and 4 minutes, setting at 7:53, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:46. The Moon, 2 days past last quarter, will rise at 5:55 tomorrow morning.

Let’s look at the naked-eye planets for this week. Venus is our evening star shining brightly in the west. It will set at 12:07 a.m. The rest of the planet action is in the morning sky where there are three planets close together in the southeast. Mars will rise first at 5:01 a.m. It’s now as bright as a first magnitude star because it’s down to 145 million (234 million km) miles away, as the Earth slowly overtakes it at the rate of about 6 million miles (9 million km) a week. It’s brighter than the star Antares in the southwest. Bright Jupiter will rise at 5:03 a.m. And lastly, Saturn will rise at 5:27 a.m. Mars is catching up to Jupiter and Saturn. It will pass south of Jupiter in two days, and Saturn on the 31st.

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


Venus and zodiacal light

Venus in a very faint zodiacal light at 10 p.m. March 18, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Morning planets and the Moon

Morning planets and the Moon for 7 a.m. Thursday, March 19, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon tomorrow morning

The Moon as it might be seen in binoculars at 7 a.m. tomorrow March 19, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic planets

The planets as seen in a telescope with the same magnification. Venus in the evening and Jupiter and Saturn in the morning on the night of March 18/19, 2020. Apparent diameters: Venus, 22.2″; Jupiter, 35.8″; Saturn, 15.8″, rings, 36.9″. Mars at 6.0″ won’t be added until it reaches 10″. The ” symbol means seconds of arc (1/3600th of a degree.) 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 March 18, 2020. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 19th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.