Archive for December 1, 2021

12/01/2021 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets and a comet for this week

December 1, 2021 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Wednesday, December 1st. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 3 minutes, setting at 5:03, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:01. The Moon, 3 days before new, will rise at 5:45 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 crescent in telescopes. It is moving closer to us, and now appears a bit larger than Jupiter in telescopes. Venus will set at 7:47 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 9:30 pm, with Jupiter following at 10:56 pm. A new comet named Leonard can be spotted with binoculars about 14 degrees above the bright star Arcturus in the east before 6:30 or 7am tomorrow morning. The spread of your fingers at arm’s length is about 15 degrees. The comet will move lower each morning.

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. That also applies to the times in the addendum below.


Evening planets

The evening planets Venus, Saturn and Jupiter at 5:45 pm this evening, December 1, 2021. Created using Stellarium.

Comet Leonard Finder chart

Comet Leonard, designation C/2021 A1, Finder chart looking East at 6:30 am. Arcturus is the brightest star in that direction. The handle of the Big Dipper is above and right of it. The comet is expected to be 7th magnitude, requiring binoculars or a telescope. It is expected to brighten to possibly be visible to the naked eye by the end of next week. No promises though. Created using Stellarium.

The Moon and Mars 12/02/21 7 am

A closeup of the Moon and Mars at 7 am tomorrow morning, December 2, 2021. The star next to the Moon is Zubenelgenubi (south claw of the scorpion), in Libra. The Arabs, who named this star and most others, saw this star as part of Scorpius, to the left and yet to rise.

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, December 1, 2021. Apparent diameters: Venus, 39.41″, 27.9% illuminated; Saturn 15.99″, its rings 37.24″; Jupiter, 38.25″. The ” symbol means seconds of arc (1/3600th of a degree.) Jupiter’s other bright moons are behind the planet at 7 pm. Callisto will reappear on the eastern edge of Jupiter (Io’s side) at 9:13 pm. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

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 December 1, 2021. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 2nd. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using my LookingUp program.