Archive

Archive for the ‘Planets’ Category

10/17/2018 – Ephemeris – Where are the bright planets tonight?

October 17, 2018 Leave a comment

Ephemeris for Wednesday, October 17th. The Sun will rise at 8:00. It’ll be up for 10 hours and 53 minutes, setting at 6:54. The Moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 1:33 tomorrow morning.

Let’s look at the bright planets for tonight. Three of them are visible in the evening sky. Venus though still officially an evening planet sets before the Sun because it is south of the Sun’s path. Jupiter will be very low in the west-southwest as skies darken. It will set at 8:16 p.m. Saturn, the ringed planet, will start the evening low in the southwestern sky and will set at 10:39 p.m. Mars will be low in the south as the skies darken tonight. and is now 64.6 million miles (104.0 million km) away. Mars will be due south at 9:04 p.m., and it will set at 2:03 a.m. Tonight Mars will be east or left of the waxing gibbous Moon. Mars is picking up speed moving eastward, crossing the constellation of Capricornus this month.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Evening Planets
The evening planets and the Moon at 7:45 p.m. October 17, 2018. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.
Binocular Moon
The waxing gibbous Moon as it should appear tonight in binoculars. Created using Stellarium.
Telescopic Planets
Saturn and Mars with the same magnification at 7:45 p.m. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).
Planets and the Moon on a single night
Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on October 17, 2018. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 18th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.
Advertisements

10/10/2018 -Ephemeris – Where are the bright planets for this week?

October 10, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, October 10th. The Sun will rise at 7:51. It’ll be up for 11 hours and 14 minutes, setting at 7:06. The Moon, 2 days past new, will set at 8:23 this evening.

Let’s look at the bright planets today. Three of them are visible in the evening sky. The brilliant Venus will be just too low to spot, setting 9 minutes after the Sun. The problem isn’t its separation from the Sun, but it is also south of the Sun’s path. Jupiter will be in the west-southwest as it gets dark. The big planet will set at 8:40 p.m. Saturn will start the evening low in the southwestern sky and will set at 11:05 p.m. Mars will be low in the south as the skies darken tonight. and is now 60.5 million miles (97.4 million km) away. Mars will be due south at 9:19 p.m., and it will set at 2:03 a.m. Mars is beginning to pick up speed moving eastward, crossing the constellation of Capricornus this month.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Evening planets
The evening planets at 8:00 p.m. October 10, 2018. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon
The thin crescent Moon as it should appear tonight in binoculars. Created using Stellarium.
Planets as seen in a telescope
Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars with the same magnification at 8 p.m. Europa will be occulted by Jupiter at 8:25 p.m. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).
Planets and the Moon on a single night
Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on October 10, 2018. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 11th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

10/03/2018 – Ephemeris – This week’s look at the bright planets

October 3, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, October 3rd. The Sun will rise at 7:43. It’ll be up for 11 hours and 36 minutes, setting at 7:19. The Moon, 1 day past last quarter, will rise at 2:02 tomorrow morning

Let’s look at the bright planets today. Three of them are visible in the evening sky. The brilliant Venus will be just too low to spot, setting 29 minutes after the Sun. The problem isn’t its separation from the Sun, but it is also south of the Sun’s path. Jupiter will be in the southwest as it gets dark. The big planet will set at 9:03 p.m. Saturn will start the evening low in the south-southwest sky and will set at 11:31 p.m. I will be giving a talk about Saturn tonight at the Main branch of the library in Traverse City at 7 p.m. Mars will be low in the south-southeast as the skies darken tonight. and is now 56.7 million miles (91.3 million km) away. Mars will be due south at 9:34 p.m., and it will set at 2:03 a.m.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Evening planets
The evening planets at 8:00 p.m. October 3, 2018. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.
telescopic planets
Venus, already set; Jupiter, Saturn and Mars with the same magnification at 8:30 p.m.
Binocular Moon
The waning crescent Moon as it should appear by 6 tomorrow morning in binoculars. Created using Stellarium.
Planets and the Moon on a single night
Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on October 3, 2018. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 4th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

09/19/2018 – Ephemeris – Wednesday is bright planet day on Ephemeris

September 19, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Talk Like a Pirate Day, Wednesday, September 19th. The Sun will rise at 7:26. It’ll be up for 12 hours and 19 minutes, setting at 7:45. The Moon, 3 days past first quarter, will set at 2:47 tomorrow morning.

Let’s look at the bright planets for this week. Four of them are visible in the evening sky. The brilliant Venus will be visible in the western twilight from about 8 p.m. until it sets at 8:40 p.m. Jupiter will be in the southwest as it gets dark. It is only outshone by Venus, and the Moon. The big planet will set at 9:40 p.m. Saturn will start the evening low in the southern sky and will stay relatively low, above the Teapot of Sagittarius. It will be due south at 7:59 p.m. and will set at 12:24 a.m. Mars will be low in the south-southeast as the skies darken tonight. and is now 49.5 million miles (79.7 million km) away. Mars will be due south at 10:09 p.m., and it will set at 2:27 a.m.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Evening planets
The evening planets at 8:15 p.m. September 19, 2018. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.
Binocular Moon
The gibbous Moon as it should appear tonight in binoculars. Created using Stellarium.
Telescopic planets
Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars with the same magnification at 8:30 p.m. September 19, 2018. Yes, your eyes don’t deceive you, Venus is larger than Jupiter. Venus is 39.0 ” (seconds of arc) in diameter, while Jupiter is 33.3″. Venus is approaching us, while Jupiter is being left behind by the Earth. Mars is also shown enlarged. The global dust storm is abating, so the albedo features are visible to be seen. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).
Planets and the Moon on a single night
Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on September 19, 2018. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 20th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

09/12/2018 – Ephemeris – Wednesday is bright planet day on Ephemeris

September 12, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, September 12th. The Sun will rise at 7:18. It’ll be up for 12 hours and 40 minutes, setting at 7:59. The Moon, 3 days past new, will set at 9:56 this evening.

It’s Wednesday again and time to look at the bright planets. Four of them are visible in the evening sky. The brilliant Venus will be visible in the western twilight from about 8:20 p.m. until it sets at 9:03 p.m. Jupiter will be in the southwest as it gets dark. It is only outshone by Venus, and the Moon, and is again brighter than Mars. Jupiter will set at 10:16 p.m. Saturn will start the evening low in the southern sky and will stay relatively low, above the Teapot of Sagittarius. It will be due south at 8:28 p.m. and will set at 12:51 a.m. Mars will be low in the south-southeast as the skies darken tonight. and is now 46.4 million miles (74.6 million km) away. Mars will be due south at 10:29 p.m., and it will set at 2:43 a.m.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Evening planets

The evening planets at 8:30 p.m. September 12, 2018. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The crescent Moon as it should appear tonight in binoculars. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Planets

Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars with the same magnification at 8:30 p.m. September 12, 2018. Yes, your eyes don’t deceive you, Venus is larger than Jupiter. Venus is 34.9 ” (seconds of arc) in diameter, while Jupiter is 33.8″. Venus is approaching us, while Jupiter is being left behind by the Earth. Mars is also shown enlarged. The global dust storm is abating, so the albedo features are beginning to be seen. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Planets and the Moon on a single night

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on September 12, 2018. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 13th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

09/05/2018 – Ephemeris – It’s Wednesday and time to look at the bright planets

September 5, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, September 5th. The Sun will rise at 7:09. It’ll be up for 13 hours and 2 minutes, setting at 8:12. The Moon, 3 days past last quarter, will rise at 3:08 tomorrow morning.

It’s Wednesday again and time to look at the bright planets. Four of them are visible in the evening sky. The brilliant Venus will be visible in the western twilight from about 8:30 p.m. until it sets at 9:24 p.m. Jupiter will be in the southwest as it gets dark. It is only outshone by Venus, and the Moon, and is the same brightness as Mars. Jupiter will set at 10:40 p.m. Saturn will start the evening low in the southern sky and will stay relatively low, above the Teapot of Sagittarius. It will be due south at 8:54 p.m. and will set at 1:19 a.m.. Mars will be low in the southeast as the skies darken tonight. and is now 43.6 million miles (70.2 million km) away. Mars will be due south at 10:52 p.m., and it will set at 3:02 a.m. Mercury will rise in the east-northeast at 5:58 a.m. and be visible until about 6:50 tomorrow morning.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Evening planets

The evening planets at 9 p.m. September 5, 2018. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic evening planets

Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars with the same magnification at 9 p.m. September 5, 2018. Mars is also shown enlarged. The global dust storm is abating, so the albedo features are beginning to be seen. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Mercury and the Moon in the morning

Mercury and Moon in the morning at 6:30 a.m. September 6, 2018. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The crescent Moon as it should appear tomorrow morning. Created using Stellarium.

Planets and the Moon on a single night

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on September 5, 2018. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 6th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

Categories: Ephemeris Program, Planets

08/30/2018 – Ephemeris – Planet controversy again

August 30, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, August 30th. The Sun will rise at 7:02. It’ll be up for 13 hours and 20 minutes, setting at 8:23. The Moon, 3 days before last quarter, will rise at 10:40 this evening.

Back when I was a kid we used to know what a planet was, and there were 9 of them. Back then there was no real definition for a planet, other than it orbited the Sun. You knew it when you saw it. In 2006 the International Astronomical Union voted to define planets by three criteria, which left Pluto out, so now there are 8. Planetary scientists, who may not consider themselves astronomers, balk at that definition. Alan Stern of the New Horizons mission to Pluto wants a new definition. Basically a planet is any body that’s round, or formally has reached hydrostatic equilibrium. That includes all 9 old planets, many moons like ours, Kuiper Belt objects, and the asteroid Ceres. About 115 at last count.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

For more information go to Ethan Siegel’s Starts with a Bang blog:  You Won’t Like The Consequences Of Making Pluto A Planet Again

Categories: Planets