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10/20/2021 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

October 20, 2021

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Wednesday, October 20th. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 44 minutes, setting at 6:49, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:06. The Moon, is full today, the Hunter’s Moon, and will rise at 7:07 this evening.

Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week. Venus should be visible in the southwestern evening twilight by 7:10 tonight. It will set at 8:44 pm. By 7:30 pm, Jupiter will be spotted in the south-southeastern sky. Jupiter should be easy to spot at that hour. Saturn will be dimmer, and to its right. They will be visible for a while after midnight in the southwest, with Saturn setting first at 1:04 am, and Jupiter following at 2:24. Saturn’s rings are a beautiful sight in a telescope of even modest power, but the planet will appear tiny. In the morning sky, Mercury will be visible and low in the east-southeast by 7:15 am. It will reach its greatest separation from the Sun in six days.

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

Addendum

Venus in twilight

Venus seen in twilight at 7:10 pm, about 20 minutes after sunset tonight, October 20, 2021. Created using Stellarium.

Full Hunters Moon rising

Full Hunter’s Moon rising at 7:11 this evening, October 20, 2021. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and Saturn

Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon at 7:30, about 40 minutes after sunset tonight, October 20, 2021. Created using Stellarium.

Mercury and Arcturus in the morning twilight

Mercury and the star Arcturus in the morning twilight at 7:15 am, about 50 minutes before sunrise tomorrow morning, October 21, 2021. Don’t confuse the two. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic naked-eye planets_10/20/2021

Telescopic views of the bright planets (north up) as they would be seen in a small telescope, with the same magnification, this evening at 8 pm, October 20, 2021. Apparent diameters: Venus, 22.70″, 53.7% illuminated; Saturn 17.08″, its rings 39.80″; Jupiter, 43.68″. Mercury at 7:15 am on the 21st and not plotted, 7.68″, 38.1% illuminated. The two Jovian moons transiting the face of the planet are usually not visible, though their shadows can be spotted. The ” symbol means seconds of arc (1/3600th of a degree.) Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Planets and the Moon overnight tonight

The naked-eye planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise on a single night, starting with sunset on the right on October 20, 2021. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 21st. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using my LookingUp program.

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