Archive for November 18, 2020

11/17/2020 – Ephemeris – Let’s look for the naked-eye planets for this week

November 18, 2020 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Wednesday, November 18th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 26 minutes, setting at 5:11, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:45. The Moon, halfway from new to first quarter, will set at 8:24 this evening.

Let’s look for the naked-eye planets for this week. Jupiter and Saturn are both low in the southwestern sky 7 to 8 pm. Jupiter is the very bright one. Above and left it will be the somewhat dimmer Saturn. They are near the Moon tonight. They are slowly closing, so they will cross paths on December 21st and be seen in the same telescope field that evening. Jupiter will set first tonight at 9:02 with Saturn following at 9:21. Off in the southeast at that hour will be Mars. Its distance is increasing to 51.5 million miles (82.9 million kilometers) away. Mars will set at 4:10 tomorrow morning. Brilliant Venus will rise at 5:03 am in the east-southeast as it retreats slowly toward the Sun. Close to ending its morning appearance now is Mercury which will rise at 6:15 am in the east.

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


Jupiter, Saturn and Moon in the early evening

Jupiter, Saturn and Moon low in the southwest at 7:30 pm tonight, November 18, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Evening planets, Moon, ecliptic and zodiac in the evening

Evening planets, Moon, ecliptic and zodiac at 7:30 pm tonight November 18, 2020. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Venus and Mercury with the star Spica and Corvus in the morning

Venus and Mercury with the star Spica, the ecliptic (path of the Sun) and the constellation Corvus at 6:30 tomorrow morning November 19, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic planets

The planets as seen in a telescope (north up) with the same magnification for the night of November 18/19, 2020. Times of the display are: Jupiter and Saturn, 7:30 pm; Mars, 10 pm; Venus, 6:30 am. Apparent diameters: Jupiter, 35.30″; Saturn, 15.91″, rings, 37.06″; Mars, 16.72″, and Venus 12.15″. Mars also displays an enlargement showing surface detail. 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 November 18, 2020. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 19th. I’m afraid that the labels for Jupiter and Saturn will overlap, since the planets are getting very close. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.