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03/17/2021 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

March 17, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for St. Patrick’s Day, Wednesday, March 17th. Today the Sun will be up for 12 hours and one minute, setting at 7:51, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:49. The Moon, halfway from new to first quarter, will set at 12:18 tomorrow morning.

Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week. Unfortunately the only one you’ll find in the evening is Mars. It can be found high in the west-southwest at 9 pm tonight, above a line between the Pleiades star cluster on its lower right and the letter V of stars that is the face of Taurus the bull on its lower left. The Pleiades will be above tonight’s waxing crescent Moon. Mars will set at 2:07 am.

Right now the other four naked eye planets are just west of the Sun in the Morning sky. But only Saturn and Jupiter are at a far enough angle from the Sun to be just be glimpsed in the morning sky. Saturn will rise at 6 am, with Jupiter a half hour later. By 7 am they will be low in the southeast.

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

Addendum

Mars finder animation

Mars finder animation for 9 pm, or about 70 minutes after sunset, tonight March 17, 2021. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

Binocular Moon

The Moon as it might appear tonight, March 17, 2021, in binoculars or a small telescope. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and Saturn tomorrow morning

Jupiter and Saturn tomorrow morning at 7 am, March 18, 2021. Created by using Stellarium.

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 March 17, 2021. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 18th. Venus is too close and south of the Sun to be plotted. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

Venus in SOHO LASCO C3 image

Venus in the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) LASCO C3 image. It will pass south and behind the Sun on the 26th and officially enter the evening sky.