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12/22/2021 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

December 22, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, December 22nd. Today the Sun will be up for 8 hours and 48 minutes, setting at 5:05, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:18. The Moon, halfway from full to last quarter, will rise at 8:16 this evening.

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, and even binoculars now. It is moving closer to us, and now appears larger than Jupiter in telescopes. Venus will set at 7:06 pm, 21 minutes earlier than it set a week ago, which means that the Sun is catching up with it faster and faster. It has only 17 days left in the evening sky, It’s now pulling away from Jupiter and Saturn. By 5:45 pm, both Jupiter and Saturn should be able to be spotted in the southwestern sky. Saturn will be dimmer, and to its lower right, halfway between it and Venus. Saturn will set at 8:17 pm, with Jupiter following an hour and a half later at 9:51 pm.

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.

Addendum

Evening planets in the southwest at 5:45 pm

The evening planets, Venus, Saturn and Jupiter in the southwestern at 5:45 pm Tonight, December 22, 2021. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon 9 pm 12/22/21

The Moon as it might appear in binoculars or small telescope low in the east northeast, tonight at 9 pm, December 22, 2021. Created using Stellarium.

Mars, low in the southeast at 7 am tomorrow morning, December 22, 2021. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic views of naked-eye planets

Telescopic views of the bright planets and their brighter moons (north up) as they would be seen in a small telescope, with the same magnification, this evening at 7 pm, December 22, 2021. Apparent diameters: Venus, 55.10″, 9.1% illuminated; Saturn 15.59″, its rings 36.32″; Jupiter, 36.16″. Mars is not shown, its apparent diameter is 3.93″. The ” symbol means seconds of arc (1/3600th of a degree.) 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 22, 2021. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 23rd. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using my LookingUp program.