Archive for November 17, 2021

11/17/2021 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

November 17, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, November 17th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 29 minutes, setting at 5:12, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:44. The Moon, 2 days before full, will set at 6:54 tomorrow morning.

Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week. Venus will be visible in the southwestern evening twilight by 5:30 tonight. It’s a fat crescent in telescopes. Venus will set at 7:48 pm. By 5:45 pm, both Jupiter and Saturn should be able to be spotted in the southern sky. Saturn will be dimmer, and to its right. It will set first at 10:19 pm, with Jupiter following at 11:42 pm. Saturn’s rings are a beautiful sight in a telescope of even modest power, but the planet will appear tiny. Jupiter, however, is still quite large, and its four biggest moons are spread out and might all be glimpsed in binoculars. In the morning sky, Mars is starting to make its appearance, rising at 6:33. Binoculars might be able to pick it out low in the east-southeast until 7:15 am.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EST, UT – 5 hours). They may be different for your location.


Evening Planets in twilight

The evening planets Venus, Saturn and Jupiter at 5:45 pm this evening, November 17, 2021. Created using Stellarium.

The Moon in binoculars or small telescope

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

Mars in morning twilight

Mars in twilight, tomorrow morning at 7 am, November 18, 2021. Create using Stellarium.

Telescopic views of the naked-eye planets

Telescopic views of the bright planets (north up) as they would be seen in a small telescope, with the same magnification, this evening at 7 pm, November 17, 2021. Apparent diameters: Venus, 31.89″, 38.3% illuminated; Saturn 16.32″, its rings 38.01″; Jupiter, 39.95″. Mars in the morning is not shown, but is 3.70″ in diameter. 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).

In the image above, Jupiter’s moon Europa is shown. Actually, before 7:03 pm, it will be hidden in Jupiter’s shadow. Watching it appear is kind of cool. Eclipses of Jupiter’s moons happen all the time. The information for the satellite events is published in Sky and Telescope Magazine. Also tonight, farther to the west, farther out than Ganymede, is the star 45 Capricorni, about the same brightness as the Jovian moons, and nearly in line with them. Don’t mistake it for one of the moons, especially before Europa appears.

Planets and the Moon on a single night

The naked-eye planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise on a single night, starting with sunset on the right on November 17, 2021. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 18th. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using my LookingUp program.