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05/18/2022 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

May 18, 2022 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, May 18th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 56 minutes, setting at 9:07, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:10. The Moon, 2 days past full, will rise at 12:43 tomorrow morning.

Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week. The one bright planet in the evening sky, Mercury, will pass between us and the Sun this Saturday to join the rest of the naked-eye planets in the morning sky. So that’s where the planet action is. At 5:15 am tomorrow, the planets will be spread out from brilliant Venus low in the east to Saturn higher in the southeast. Venus may be missed at that time, but may be up sufficiently by 5:30. To the right of Venus is the quite bright Jupiter. Farther right will be the dimmest of the 4, Mars, which is closing on Jupiter. The two will seem to pass each other on the 29th of this month. All will be in line, sloping to the upper right. They are still quite a sight to behold in the morning twilight.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EDT, UT – 4 hours). They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Annotated Moon animation

The Moon as it might appear in binoculars or a small telescope tomorrow morning at 1:30 May 19, 2022. Created using Stellarium, GIMP and LibreOffice.

The morning planet parade

The morning planet parade is widening as Venus is moving away from Jupiter and toward the Sun. Mars is approaching Jupiter and will catch up to it on the 29th. These are shown at 5:15 am, or about an hour before sunrise tomorrow morning, May 19, 2022. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic views of Venus, Saturn and Jupiter

Views of Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn (north up) as they would be seen in a small telescope, with the same magnification, tomorrow morning at 5:15 am, May 19, 2022. I do not show planets less than 10 seconds of arc in diameter. Apparent diameters: Venus 14.73″, 73.9% illuminated; Saturn 16.99″, its rings 39.59″; Jupiter 36.17″. Mars is not shown, its apparent diameter is 6.14″ and is 88.1% illuminated. 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 May 18, 2022. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 19th. Notice that all the naked-eye planets except Mercury are in the morning sky now. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using my LookingUp program.