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Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

August 24, 2022

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, August 24th. Today the Sun will be up for 13 hours and 37 minutes, setting at 8:33, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:57. The Moon, 3 days before new, will rise at 4:46 tomorrow morning.

Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week. Two of the naked-eye planets are in the evening sky. Mercury probably sets too close to the Sun to be seen in the evening, but it might be spotted very low on a Lake Michigan horizon in the west at 9 pm. As it gets darker, Saturn can be seen low in the southeast. Jupiter rises in the east around 10 pm. At 6:15 am tomorrow, the morning planets will be spread out from brilliant Venus low in the east-northeast, and below the thin crescent Moon to Jupiter in the southwest. Mars, in the southeast, will be a lot higher than both Venus and Jupiter. Mars is among the rising stars seen in the late autumn and winter evening skies, when observing them then, it will be a lot colder than it will be tomorrow morning.

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.


Mercury as it might appear at 9:05 pm

Mercury as it might appear at 9:05 pm tonight, August 24, 2024. I’ve included nearby Spica, which is easier to spot at that time. Actually, neither is likely to be visible. Mercury is only 2 1/2 degrees above a sea horizon. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter rising and Saturn

Jupiter rising, with Saturn in the southeast as it might be seen tonight, August 24, 2022. It reminds me of spotting Jupiter rising at our star party Monday night at the Sleeping Bear Dunes. Created using Stellarium.

Morning planets and the Moon

Morning planets and the Moon at 6 am tomorrow morning, August 25, 2022. The Moon will appear as a tiny sliver of a crescent. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic views of Saturn Jupiter and Venus

Views of Saturn, Jupiter, and Venus (north up) as they would be seen in a small telescope, with the same magnification. The times vary for each planet. Saturn is shown at 11 pm, Jupiter is shown at midnight. I do not show planets less than 10 seconds of arc in diameter, so Mars doesn’t show up yet. It will soon. Apparent diameters: Saturn 18.73″, its rings 43.63″; Jupiter 48.08″. Mars 9.40″, 84.9% illuminated; Venus 10.31″, 94.3% illuminated. The ” symbol means seconds of arc (1/3600th of a degree.) Click on the image to enlarge it. 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 August 24, 2022. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 25th. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using my LookingUp program.

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