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09/08/2021 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

September 8, 2021

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, September 8th. Today the Sun will be up for 12 hours and 52 minutes, setting at 8:06, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:14. The Moon, 2 days past new, will set at 9:16 this evening.

Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week. Venus should be visible in the western evening twilight before 8:30 tonight. It will set at 9:41 pm. By 8:30 pm, Jupiter and Saturn will be seen low in the southeastern sky. The brighter Jupiter will be easy to spot at that hour. Saturn will be dimmer, but a bit higher and to its right. Both these planets will be visible for most of the night, with Saturn setting first at 3:53 am, with Jupiter setting at 5:21 tomorrow morning. Saturn’s rings can be seen in a spotting scope of about 20 power magnification. Though at that power, the rings won’t appear separated from the planet, so Saturn will look like an elliptical spot. Most of Jupiter’s 4 brightest moons can even be spotted in binoculars.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EDT, UT – 4 hr). They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Vednus and the Moon in evening twilight

Venus and the Moon in evening twilight at 8:30 pm tonight, September 8, 2021. This is about 25 minutes after sunset. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The thin crescent Moon as it might appear with earth shine in binoculars at 8:30 pm tonight, September 8, 2021. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and Saturn in the southeast

Jupiter and Saturn in the southeast at 8:30 pm, about a half hour after sunset tonight, September 8, 2021. Created using Stellarium.

The naked-eye planets as seen in small telescopes

Telescopic view of the bright planets (north up) as they would be seen in a small telescope, with the same magnification, this evening. Venus at 8:30 pm, and the other two at 10 pm, September 8, 2021. Apparent diameters: Venus, 15.88″ 70% illuminated; Saturn 18.19″, its rings 42.36″; Jupiter, 48.43″. Jupiter’s moons will slowly approach the planet from our viewpoint overnight. The ” symbol means seconds of arc (1/3600th of a degree.) Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Planets and the Moon overnight tonight

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night, starting with sunset on the right on September 8, 2021. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 9th. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using my LookingUp program.

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