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10/07/2020 – Ephemeris – Let’s look for the naked-eye planets for this week

October 7, 2020

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, October 7th. Today the Sun will be up for 11 hours and 22 minutes, setting at 7:11, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:50. The Moon, 2 days before last quarter, will rise at 10:23 this evening.

Let’s look for the naked-eye planets for this week. Jupiter and Saturn are both low in the southern sky at 9 pm. Jupiter is the very bright one. To the left of it will be the somewhat dimmer Saturn which is just about due south at that hour. They are closing slowly, so they will cross paths on December 21st. Jupiter will set first at 12:23 tomorrow morning with Saturn following at 1 am. Off in the east will be Mars which will rise at 7:33 pm. It’s now down to 38.6 million miles (62.1 million km) away, as the Earth is about to overtake it. Brilliant Venus will rise at 4:24 am as it retreats slowly toward the Sun. It looks like a tiny featureless gibbous moon in telescopes. Its clouds of sulfuric acid are quite featureless in visible light.

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

Addendum

Evening planets

Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars arrayed from south-southwest to east at 9 pm tonight October 7, 2020. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Planets and the Moon among the winter stars in the morning

Venus, the Moon and Mars among the stars of winter but at 7 am October 8, 2020. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The waning gibbous Moon as it might be seen in binoculars at 7 am tomorrow October 8, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Planets

The planets as seen in a telescope (north up) with the same magnification for the night of October 7/8, 2020. Times of the display are: Jupiter and Saturn, 9 pm; small Mars, 9 pm; enlarged Mars, 11 pm, Venus, 7 am. Apparent diameters: Jupiter, 39.64″; Saturn, 17.00″, rings, 39.60″. Mars, 22.56″, and Venus 14.86″. Mars also displays an enlargement showing surface detail. On the Mars enlargement the large dark feature to the upper left of center is Syrtis Major, and the bright area below it is the Hellas Basin. Mars was closest to the Earth this go-a-round on October 6. 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 October 7, 2020. The night ends on the left with sunrise on 8th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

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