Archive for December 28, 2022

12/28/2022 – Ephemeris – Taking a look at the bright planets for the last week of the year

December 28, 2022 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, December 28th. Today the Sun will be up for 8 hours and 49 minutes, setting at 5:09, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:19. The Moon, 1 day before first quarter, will set at 11:46 this evening.

Let’s see where the naked-eye planets have wandered off to this week. Mars, Jupiter and Saturn will be visible this evening, in the east to southwestern sky at 6:30 pm. Mars is in the east. Jupiter is the brightest of the three in the south, while dimmer Saturn is low in the southwest at that time. Mars is above Orion as it rises in the early evening. Saturn, the westernmost of the bright planets, will set around 8:52 this evening. Venus and Mercury are also in the evening sky, but too close to the setting Sun to be easily spotted. At 6 pm, both will be very low on the southwestern horizon, with Mercury just above Venus by three moon-widths. There are now no bright morning planets, though Mars won’t set until 6:32 am in the northwest.

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.


Planets and Moon in the evening

The naked eye Planets and Moon at 8 in the evening tonight, December 28, 2022. Created using Stellarium.

Waxing crescent Moon as it might appear tonight

Waxing crescent Moon as it might appear in binoculars or low power telescope tonight, December 28, 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 28, 2022. Apparent diameters: Saturn 15.82″, its rings 36.84″; Jupiter 39.72″. Mars 15.06″. Mars’ distance is 57.8 million miles (93.0 million kilometers). 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 December 28, 2022. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 29th. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using my LookingUp app and GIMP.