Archive for May 20, 2020

05/20/2020 – Ephemeris – Let’s look at the naked-eye planets for this week

May 20, 2020 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, May 20th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 1 minute, setting at 9:10, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:08. The Moon, 2 days before new, will rise at 5:49 tomorrow morning.

Let’s look at the naked-eye planets for this week. Venus is our evening star shining brightly in the west northwest. It will be our evening star for only the next 2 weeks. A tiny crescent can now be seen in binoculars. It will cross between the Earth and the Sun on June 3rd. It will set at 11:05 p.m. It’s only 30 million miles (48 million km) away. Mercury is making an appearance just below Venus now. In the morning sky there are three planets close together in the south and southeast. Bright Jupiter will rise first at 1:07 a.m. Followed by Saturn at 1:22 a.m. Mars, is stretching its lead left of Saturn and will rise at 3:00 a.m. Mars continues to get closer. Its now down to 101million miles (163 million km) away, as the Earth slowly overtakes it at the rate of about 5 million miles (7 million km) a week.

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


Venus and Mercury at 10 pm

Venus and Mercury as it should appear at 10 pm low in the northwest over the Lake Michigan horizon. May 20, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Morning planets

Jupiter, Saturn and Mars seen in the southern sky at 5:30 am tomorrow morning May 21, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic planets

The planets as seen in a telescope with the same magnification. Venus, Jupiter and Saturn on the night of May 13/14, 2020. Apparent diameters: Venus, 52.76″, larger than Jupiter, at 43.37″; Saturn, 17.51″, rings 40.80″. Mars at 8.66″ won’t be added until it reaches 10″. Mercury is gibbous at 6.04″. The ” symbol means seconds of arc (1/3600th of a degree.) Note that Jupiter has two moons in transit, with another behind the planet. The transiting moons are nearly invisible, so only one moon, Callisto is visible. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Jovian satellite events (Subtract 4 hours from UT to get EDT)

Moon      Event          Date         UT
Europa:   Shadow start:  21 May 2020  2:36
Ganymede: Shadow end:    21 May 2020  5:50
Europa :  Shadow start:  21 May 2020  6:13
Ganymede: Transit start: 21 May 2020  7:02
Europa:   Transit start: 21 May 2020  8:22
Europa:   Shadow end:    21 May 2020  8:58
Ganymede: Transit end:   21 May 2020 10:24

Source: The Pluto Project

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 May 20, 2020. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 21st. The closeness of Jupiter and Saturn in the morning sky unfortunately overlays planets and labels. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.