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01/04/2022 – Ephemeris – Planet show in the evening twilight tonight

January 4, 2022

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Tuesday, January 4th. The Sun will rise at 8:20. It’ll be up for 8 hours and 55 minutes, setting at 5:15. The Moon, 2 days past new, will set at 7:34 this evening.

Tonight, if it’s clear, there’s a chance that one could spot four planets, plus the Moon, in the southwestern evening twilight. However, not all at the same time. Venus should make an appearance at about 5:45 very low in the west-southwest, only 3 degrees or 6 moon-widths above a lake horizon. Jupiter might be visible then or in a few more minutes much higher in the southwest. The two-day-old Moon might be visible then, about halfway between Jupiter and Venus. By 6 pm, Mercury might be visible halfway between the Moon and where Venus was, because Venus will be setting at that time. By this time, too, Saturn will appear just above right of the Moon. This is the last chance to spot Venus in the evening sky until the last months of this year.

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

4 Evening planets and the Moon

Four Evening planets and the Moon at 5:45 pm on a flat horizon at 5:45 pm tonight, January 4, 2022. Venus, because it is so low on the horizon, and Saturn, the dimmest of the four planets, may not be visible. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic view of Venus 4 days before inferior conjunction

Venus is only 4 days away from inferior conjunction. Back in 1969 I took this photo of Venus then only 4 days from inferior conjunction from the Grand Rapids Amateur Astronomical Society’s Veen Observatory outside of Lowell, MI.

Venus was low in the sky, and the atmosphere made it very fuzzy.

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