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10/14/2020 – Ephemeris – Let’s look for the naked-eye planets for this week

October 14, 2020

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Wednesday, October 14th. Today the Sun will be up for 11 hours and 1 minute, setting at 6:58, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:58. The Moon, 2 days before new, will rise at 6:10 tomorrow morning.

Let’s look for the naked-eye planets for this week. Jupiter and Saturn are both low in the south-southwestern sky at 9 pm. Jupiter is the very bright one. Left and a bit above it will be the somewhat dimmer Saturn. They are closing slowly, so they will cross paths on December 21st and be in the same telescope field that evening. Jupiter will set first tonight at 11:52 with Saturn following at 12:29 am. Off in the east-southeast at 9 pm will be Mars. Since the Earth passed it yesterday its distance is slowly increasing to 38.9 million miles (62.7 million kilometers) away. Brilliant Venus will rise at 4:39 am in the east as it retreats slowly toward the Sun. It’s brilliant and looks like a tiny featureless gibbous moon in telescopes.

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


Evening Planets animation

Evening Planets animation showing Jupiter, Saturn and Mars with the constellations of the zodiac for 9 pm October 14, 2020. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Morning planet animation

Morning planet animation for 6:45 am tomorrow October 15, 2020. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The waning thin crescent Moon about a day and a half from new. as it might be seen in binoculars with earthshine at 6:45 am tomorrow morning October 15, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic planets

The planets as seen in a telescope (north up) with the same magnification for the night of October 14/15, 2020. Times of the display are: Jupiter and Saturn, 9 pm; Mars, 11 pm; Venus, 7 am. Apparent diameters: Jupiter, 38.82″; Saturn, 16.81″, rings, 39.15″; Mars, 22.27″; and Venus 14.27″. Mars also displays an enlargement showing surface detail. Mars was closest to the Earth this go-a-round on October 6, and at opposition yesterday. 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 14, 2020. The night ends on the left with sunrise on 15th. Click on the image to enlarge. Mars, near opposition and a bit south of the ecliptic, actually rises after sunset, so I included it in the sunset chart even though it is below the horizon at sunset. Created using my LookingUp program.

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