Home > Ephemeris Program, Planets > 03/31/2021 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

03/31/2021 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

March 31, 2021

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Wednesday, March 31st. Today the Sun will be up for 12 hours and 44 minutes, setting at 8:09, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:23. The Moon, 3 days past full, will rise at 12:11 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 in the west-southwest at 9 pm tonight, above the orange star Aldebaran in the face of Taurus the bull. Mars will set at 1:54 am. Right now three of the other four naked eye planets are just west of the Sun in the Morning sky. Venus is now below and just a bit east of the Sun, setting four minutes after sunset. Only Saturn and Jupiter are at a far enough angle from the Sun to be just spotted in the morning twilight. Saturn will rise at 5:10 am, with Jupiter rising 31 minutes later. By 6:30 am they will be low in the southeast. The Sun is rising earlier by 2 minutes a day now, while sunset is nearly matching that pace in the opposite direction.

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

Addendum

Mars in the evening
Mars with nearby stars n the fading twilight of 9 pm, about 50 minutes after sunset, tonight March 31, 2021. Created using Stellarium.
Saturn and Jupiter low in the sky at 6 am tomorrow, April 1, 2021, about an hour and a half before sunrise. Created using Stellarium.
The waning gibbous Moon as it might appear in a small telescope or binoculars
The waning gibbous Moon as it might appear in a small telescope or binoculars at 6 am tomorrow, April 1, 2021. Created using Stellarium.

The new version of Stellarium I’m using, 0.21.0, has new textures for the Moon that are more realistic and show finer detail than earlier versions. If the Moon is enlarged to fill the window, clicking on a feature will reveal its name.

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on March 31, 2021. The night ends on the left with sunrise on April 1st. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.
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