Archive for February 17, 2021

02/17/2021 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

February 17, 2021 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Ash Wednesday, Wednesday, February 17th. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 34 minutes, setting at 6:14, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:38. The Moon, 2 days before first quarter, will set at 12:27 tomorrow morning.

Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week. Unfortunately the only one you’ll find is Mars. The other four are hanging out in the direction of the Sun and won’t be seen until spring. They’ll be first seen in the morning sky. Mars can be found high in the southwest and above the waxing crescent Moon at 8 pm tonight. They will be even closer Thursday night. Mars is increasing its speed eastward through the constellation of Aries the ram, which it’s two thirds the way through, and will set at 1:32 am. Of the outer planets Mars is the fastest, being the nearest to the Sun, and the Earth, so unlike Jupiter, Saturn and the stars which rise and set about four minutes earlier each night, Mars sets less than a minute earlier each night now.

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


Mars and the Moon finder chart

Mars and the Moon in the southwestern sky at 8 pm tonight, February 17, 2021. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The Moon as it might appear tonight at 8 pm, February 17, 2021. Created using Stellarium.

Planets and the Moon on a single night sunset 02/17/21 to sunrise 02/18/21

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on February 17, 2021. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 18th. There is a planet traffic jam in the morning and the labels for Jupiter and Mercury overlap. Unfortunately these planets rise too soon before the Sun to be seen for us up north. It is a great sight for Southern Hemisphere observers. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

Categories: Ephemeris Program, Planets Tags: ,