Archive for January 12, 2022

01/12/2022 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

January 12, 2022 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Wednesday, January 12th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 6 minutes, setting at 5:24, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:17. The Moon, 3 days past first quarter, will set at 4:45 tomorrow morning.

Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week. There are three planets left in the evening sky now. Jupiter will be visible in the southwest by 6:15 pm. Saturn should appear below and right of it, much closer to the Horizon, with the slightly brighter Mercury a bit below and right of it. Mercury is a bit brighter than Saturn, but in brighter twilight. Finding Saturn and Mercury might take a pair of binoculars. Mercury will set at 6:55 pm, Saturn at 7:07, and Jupiter at 8:52 pm. In the morning sky, Mars is now visible by 7:15 am low in the southeast. Mars’ rival in color and brightness, the red giant star Antares, is to its right and a bit higher. Another bright star is low in the east at that time, the summer time evening star Altair.

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.


3 Evening planets

The three planets in evening twilight at 6:15 pm tonight, January 12, 2022. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The waxing gibbous Moon, seen at 9 pm tonight, January 12, 2022. The easily spotted craters of Plato, Copernicus and Tycho are labeled. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic views of Jupiter and Saturn for tonight

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, January 12, 2022. I do not show planets less than 10 seconds of arc in diameter. Apparent diameters: Saturn 15.34″, its rings 35.74″; Jupiter, 34.59″. Mercury is not shown, its apparent diameter is 4.12″ and is 34.1% illuminated. Mars also is not shown, its apparent diameter is 4.12″. Jupiter is showing two of its moons transiting its face. They will actually be invisible. Ganymede’s start of transit will be at 6:50 pm and should be visible before then. 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 January 12, 2022. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 13th. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using my LookingUp program.