Archive for December 14, 2022

12/14/2022 – Ephemeris – Let’s see where the naked-eye planets have wandered off to this week, and a second look at the Geminid meteor shower near its peak

December 14, 2022 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, December 14th. Today the Sun will be up for 8 hours and 50 minutes, setting at 5:02, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:13. The Moon, 2 days before last quarter, will rise at 11:10 this evening.

Let’s see where the naked-eye planets have wandered off to this week. The Geminid meteor shower will be near peak again this evening, and the Moon will not interfere with it until just after 11 pm. The meteors will appear all over the sky, but will be seen to come from the constellation Gemini, high above Orion the hunter. Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will be visible from east to south-southwest this evening by 6 pm. Jupiter is the brightest of the three in the southeast, while dimmer Saturn is in the south-southwest at that hour. Mars will end up being above and to the right of Orion later on this evening. They will be shifting westward throughout the evening. Saturn, the westernmost of the bright planets, will set around 9:41 this evening. Venus and Mercury are also in the evening sky, but too close to the setting Sun to be easily spotted.

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.


Evening planets at 8 pm.

Evening planets at 8 pm in this panorama from east to southwest with the zodiacal constellations. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

The waning gibbous Moon in as it might look like in binoculars or a telescope at low power at 6 am, Thursday, December 15, 2022. Created using Stellarium, LibreOffice Draw and GIMP.

Telescopic views of Saturn, Jupiter and Mars

Telescopic views of Saturn Jupiter and Mars (north up) as they would be seen in a small telescope, with the same magnification. The image of Mars doesn’t show it, but the white north polar cap will appear at the top or north limb of Mars. The planets are shown at 8 pm tonight, December 14, 2022. Apparent diameters: Saturn 16.09″, its rings 37.49″; Jupiter 41.58″. Mars 16.61″. Mars’ distance is 52.4 million miles (84.4 million kilometers). 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 December 14, 2022. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 15th. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using my LookingUp app and GIMP.