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04/21/2021 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

April 21, 2021

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, April 21st. Today the Sun will be up for 13 hours and 47 minutes, setting at 8:35, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:46. The Moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 4:56 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 at 10 pm tonight, between the constellations of Taurus the bull below and Gemini the twins above. Tonight it’s just off Castor’s big toe. Mars will set at 1:30 am. Venus is now just east of the Sun, setting 31 minutes after sunset. It will be late May or early June before it will be easily spotted in the evening twilight. Mercury is between the Sun and Venus. Saturn and Jupiter are at a far enough angle from the Sun to be spotted in the morning twilight. Saturn will rise at 3:51 am, with Jupiter rising at 4:28 am. By 6 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 and the Moon with the fleeing stars of winter tonight at 10 pm, April 21, 2021. Created using Stellarium.
The moon as it might appear tonight, April 21, 2021. Created using Stellarium.
Jupiter and Saturn in the morning twilight tomorrow morning, April 22, 2021. Created using Stellarium.
Saturn and Jupiter as seen in a small telescope at the same magnification. Apparent diameters: Saturn, 16.46″, rings, 38.36″; Jupiter, 36.55″. Mars is too far away to make out detail on its surface, except maybe a polar cap. Its apparent diameter is 4.81″. The ” symbol means seconds of arc (1/3600th of a degree.) Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).
Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on April 21, 2021. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 22nd. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

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