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03/16/2022 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

March 16, 2022 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, March 16th. Today the Sun will be up for 11 hours and 57 minutes, setting at 7:50, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:51. The Moon, 2 days before full, will set at 7:59 tomorrow morning.

Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week. There are no bright planets in the evening sky. Jupiter, the last to leave, will stay too close to the direction of the Sun to be visible in the morning sky for at least a month. So that’s where the action shifts to. Jupiter joins Mercury, Saturn, Venus and Mars. Late winter and early spring mornings aren’t the best for spotting planets close to the Sun, since they tend to lie low in the southeastern sky. Venus will rise at 5:51 tomorrow morning and Mars will rise at 6:04. Saturn will rise at 6:40. By 7:15, they will be low in the southeast with much dimmer Mars at the 5 o’clock position below Venus, with Saturn much lower at the 8 o’clock position.

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

The Moon 2 days before full

The Moon 2 days before full as it might appear in binoculars or small telescope, tonight, at 9 pm, March 16, 2022. Created using Stellarium.

Morning planets about a half hour before sunrise

Morning planets Venus, Saturn and Mars at 7:15 am, or about 36 minutes before sunrise tomorrow, March 17, 2022. Binoculars may help in spotting Mars and Saturn. Over the week, these planets will continue to move away from the rising Sun. Well, all except Venus which will reach its greatest elongation, meaning separation from the Sun on Sunday, before beginning to slip back toward the Sun. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic views of Venus and Saturn

Telescopic views of the Venus and Saturn (north up) as they would be seen in a small telescope, with the same magnification, tomorrow morning at 7 15 am, March 17, 2022. I do not show planets less than 10 seconds of arc in diameter. Apparent diameters: Venus 25.49″, 48.0% illuminated; Saturn 15.55″, its rings 36.22″. Mars is not shown, its apparent diameter is 4.94″ and is 92.8% 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 March 16, 2022. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 17th. Notice that all the naked-eye planets are in the morning sky now, with the Moon still hanging out in the evening sky. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using my LookingUp program.

03/09/2022 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

March 9, 2022 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, March 9th. Today the Sun will be up for 11 hours and 35 minutes, setting at 6:41, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:04. The Moon, 1 day before first quarter, will set at 2:28 tomorrow morning.

Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week. There are no bright planets in the evening sky. Jupiter, the last to leave, will stay too close to the direction of the Sun to be visible in the morning sky for at least a month. So that’s where the action shifts. Jupiter joins Mercury, Saturn, Venus and Mars. Late winter and early spring mornings aren’t the best for spotting planets close to the Sun, since they tend to lie low in the southeastern sky. Saturn and Mercury are also too close to the direction of the Sun to be spotted now. Venus will rise at 4:55 tomorrow morning and Mars will rise at 5:16. By 6:15, they will be low in the southeast, with much dimmer Mars at the 5 o’clock position below Venus.

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.

Addendum

The waxing crescent Moon

The waxing crescent Moon at 8 pm or an hour or so after sunset tonight, March 9, 2022. It is shown as it might be seen in binoculars or a small telescope. Created using Stellarium.

Morning planets at 6:15 am

Morning planets Venus and Mars at 6:15 am, or about 45 minutes before sunrise tomorrow, March 10, 2022. Created using Stellarium.

Venus through a telescope

Venus through a telescope as it would appear before sunrise tomorrow morning, March 10, 2022. It’s shown larger than usual, since it’s the only planet that looks like anything in a small telescope now. Its apparent diameter is 27.78″, and it is 44.0% illuminated by the Sun. Mars has an apparent diameter of 4.83″, and is slightly gibbous at 93.3% illuminated. (” means seconds of arc. 1″ is 1/3600th of a degree). Created using Stellarium, which is also the source for the apparent diameters and the illuminated fraction of Venus and Mars.

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 March 9, 2022. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 10th. Notice that all the naked-eye planets are in the morning sky now. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using my LookingUp program.

Categories: Ephemeris Program, Planets Tags: , ,

03/02/2023 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

March 2, 2022 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Ash Wednesday, March 2nd. Today the Sun will be up for 11 hours and 13 minutes, setting at 6:31, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:16. The Moon is new today, and won’t be visible.

Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week. The last evening planet, Jupiter, will pass behind the Sun this Saturday and enter the morning sky. So the action shifts to the morning sky, where Saturn, Mercury, Venus and Mars reside. Saturn and Mercury are too close to the direction of the Sun to be spotted now. Mercury is heading back toward the Sun. Saturn should be able to be spotted in morning twilight in a few weeks as it joins Venus, our brilliant morning star, and Mars in the southeast about half an hour to 45 minutes before sunrise. Tomorrow morning Mars will be below, and right of bright Venus, which will rise at 5 am, with Mars following at 5:26.

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.

Addendum

Venus and Mars in the morning

Venus and Mars in the morning as they might appear at 6:30 am, about 45 minutes before sunrise, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Created using Stellarium.

Venus through a telescope

Venus through a telescope as it would appear before sunrise tomorrow morning, March 3, 2022. It’s shown larger than usual, since it’s the only planet that looks like anything in a small telescope now. Its apparent diameter is 30.49″, and it is 39.7% illuminated by the Sun. Mars has an apparent diameter of 4.73″.
(” means seconds of arc. 1″ is 1/3600th of a degree). Created using Stellarium, which is also the source for the apparent diameters and the illuminated fraction of Venus.

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 March 2, 2022. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 3rd. There’s a label pile up in the sunrise panel where the Labels for Saturn and Mercury overlay each other. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using my LookingUp program.

02/23/2022 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

February 23, 2022 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, February 23rd. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 52 minutes, setting at 6:22, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:28. The Moon, at last quarter today, will rise at 2:43 tomorrow morning.

Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week. The last evening planet, Jupiter, is too close to the setting Sun to be spotted now after sunset. The action now shifts to the morning sky, where Venus and Mars reside. Saturn entered the morning sky sixteen days ago, and it will be about another month or so before it’s far enough from the direction of the Sun to be spotted. Venus, our brilliant morning star, Mars and maybe even Mercury can be spotted low in the southeast by 6:45 am, about half an hour before sunrise. Mars will be below, and right of Venus, while Mercury will be near the horizon left of Venus. Mercury is brighter than Mars, but lower in the more intense twilight. Venus will rise at 5:06, with Mars following at 5:38, and Mercury rising last at 6:32.

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.

Addendum

Morning planets at 6:45am 2/24/2022

Morning planets and the waning crescent Moon at 6:45 am, or about 40 minutes before sunrise tomorrow morning, February 24, 2022. Mercury may not actually be visible. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using Stellarium.

Waning Crescent Moon

Waning Crescent Moon as it might be shown in binoculars or small telescope tomorrow morning, February 24, 2022. Created using Stellarium.

Venus through a telescope

Venus through a telescope as it would appear before sunrise tomorrow morning, February 24, 2022. It’s shown larger than usual, since it’s the only planet that looks like anything in a small telescope now. Its apparent diameter is 33.72″, and it is 34.9% illuminated by the Sun.
(” means seconds of arc. 1″ is 1/3600th of a degree) Mars has an apparent diameter of 4.63″, while Mercury has one of 6.18″. Created using Stellarium, which is also the source for the apparent diameters and the illuminated fraction of Venus.

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 February 23, 2022. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 24th. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using my LookingUp program.

02/16/2022 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

February 16, 2022 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Wednesday, February 16th. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 31 minutes, setting at 6:12, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:39. The Moon, at full today, will rise at 6:11 this evening.

Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week. There is just one planet left in the evening sky now, and it’s going to leave us soon. Jupiter will be barely visible very low in the west-southwest around 6:45 pm, or a half hour after sunset. It will set at 7:16 pm. Saturn has entered the morning sky, where we’ve lost it for a month or so. Speaking of the morning sky, Venus, our brilliant morning star, Mars and maybe even Mercury can be spotted low in the southeast by 6:55 am, about 45 minutes before sunrise. Mars will be below, and right of Venus, while Mercury will be near the horizon left of Venus. Mercury is brighter than Mars, but lower in more intense twilight. Venus will rise at 5:12, with Mars following at 5:45, and Mercury rising last at 6:30.

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.

Addendum

Jupiter, tonight, is barely visible in the west-southwest at 6:45 pm, about 34 minutes after sunset, February 16, 2022. Created using Stellarium.

The full Moon rising tonight

The full Moon as it might appear as it rises tonight, as viewed in binoculars. Notice the squashed appearance of the Moon, which is due to the fact that atmospheric refraction is affecting the bottom part of the Moon more than the top. Created using Stellarium.

The three morning planets visible at 6:45 am

Venus, Mars and Mercury, visible at 6:45 am, or about 55 minutes before sunrise, tomorrow February 17, 2022. Mercury is at its greatest elongation or separation from the Sun. Created using Stellarium.

Venus through a telescope

Only one planet is worth attention through a telescope. That one is Venus as a bright crescent. Venus is magnified much more than I normally do, so the caption will fit under it. Created using Stellarium.

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 February 16, 2022. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 17th. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using my LookingUp program.

02/09/2022 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

February 9, 2022 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, February 9th. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 11 minutes, setting at 6:02, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:50. The Moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 3:37 tomorrow morning.

Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week. There is just one planet left in the evening sky now, and it’s going to leave us soon. Jupiter will be visible in the west-southwest around 6:30 pm. It will set at 7:35 pm. Saturn is too close to the Sun to be seen, It crossed behind the Sun last Friday, and has entered the morning sky, where we will lose it for a month or so. Speaking of the morning sky, Venus, our brilliant morning star, Mars and maybe even Mercury can be spotted low in the southeast by 7 o’clock. Mars will be below, right of Venus, while Mercury will be near the horizon left of Venus. Mercury is brighter than Mars, but lower in more intense twilight. Venus will rise at 5:23, with Mars following at 5:53, and Mercury rising last at 6:32.

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.

Addendum

Jupiter in evening twilight

Jupiter in evening twilight tonight at 6:30 pm or about a half hour after sunset, February 9, 2022. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The waxing gibbous Moon as it might appear tonight in binoculars or small telescope. Created using Stellarium.

Venus, Mars, and Mercury in the morning

Venus, Mars, and Mercury at 7 am, or about 50 minutes before sunrise in the morning twilight. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic views of Jupiter and Venus

Telescopic views of the Jupiter and its moons; and Venus (north up) as they would be seen in a small telescope, with the same magnification, overnight, February 9/10, 2022. As far as Jupiter is concerned, I’m not sure its moons will be visible in the twilight or close to the horizon. I do not show planets less than 10 seconds of arc in diameter. Apparent diameters: Jupiter, 33.34″ at 6:45 pm. Mars is not shown, its apparent diameter is 4.44″. Venus has an apparent diameter of 42.07″ and is 23.8% illuminated at 7 am. Mercury, is also not shown, it has an apparent diameter of 7.73″ and it’s 47.3% 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 February 9, 2022. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 10th. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using my LookingUp program.

02/02/2022 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

February 2, 2022 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Ground Hog Day, Wednesday, February 2nd. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 52 minutes, setting at 5:52, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:59. The Moon, 1 day past new, will set at 7:42 this evening.

Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week. There is just one planet left in the evening sky now. Jupiter will be visible in the west-southwest by 6:30 pm. The thin crescent Moon will appear below and left of it tonight. It’s kind of hard to tell which will be brighter. Jupiter will set at 7:54 pm. Saturn is too close to the Sun to be seen, and will cross behind the Sun on Friday, and will then enter the morning sky, where we will lose it for a month or so. Speaking of the morning sky, Venus, our brilliant morning star, will be in the southeast by 7 o’clock with the much dimmer Mars to the right and below it. Venus will rise at 5:40, with Mars following at 5:59. Antares is Mars’ rival in color and brightness, the red giant star Antares will be in the south-southeast at 7. Mars is speeding away from it.

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.

Addendum

Jupiter and the Moon in twilight

Jupiter and the Moon in twilight at 6:30 pm tonight, February 2, 2022. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular view of a 1 day old Moon

This is what tonight’s one-day old Moon might look like in a pair of binoculars at 6:30 pm, February 2, 2022. The image shows earth shine, the reflected light of a nearly full Earth on The Moon’s night side. Created using Stellarium.

Venus and Mars in the morning

Venus and Mars in the morning at 7:00 tomorrow morning, February 2, 2022. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic views of Jupiter and Venus

Telescopic views of the bright planets and their brighter moons (north up) as they would be seen in a small telescope, with the same magnification, overnight, February 2/3, 2022. I do not show planets less than 10 seconds of arc in diameter. Apparent diameters: Jupiter, 33.56″ at 7 pm. Mars is not shown, its apparent diameter is 4.35″. Venus has an apparent diameter of 47.25″ and is 17.5% illuminated at 7 am. 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 February 2, 2022. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 3rd. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using my LookingUp program.

01/26/2022 – Ephemeris – Evening planets? Then there was one.

January 26, 2022 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Wednesday, January 26th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 35 minutes, setting at 5:43, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:07. The Moon, 1 day past last quarter, will rise at 3:37 tomorrow morning.

Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week. There is just one planet left in the evening sky now. Jupiter will be visible in the southwest by 6:15 pm. Jupiter will set at 8:12 pm. Saturn is too close to the Sun to be seen, and will cross behind the Sun in 9 days to enter the morning sky. In the morning sky, Venus, our brilliant morning star, and the much dimmer Mars will rise about the same time about 6:05 am. Both will appear low in the southeastern twilight by 7 am. Mars will be to the right of Venus by 11 and a half degrees, about the width of a fist held at arm’s length. Mars’ rival in color and brightness, the red giant star Antares, is to its right and a bit higher, and nearer the waning crescent Moon.

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.

Addendum

Jupiter in evening twilight

Jupiter in evening twilight tonight, January 26, 2022. Created using Stellarium.

Waning crescent Moon

Waning crescent Moon as it might be seen at 7:15 am tomorrow morning, January 27, 2022. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic views of Jupiter and Venus

Telescopic views of the bright planets and their brighter moons (north up) as they would be seen in a small telescope, with the same magnification, overnight, January 26/27, 2022. I do not show planets less than 10 seconds of arc in diameter. Apparent diameters: Jupiter, 33.85″. Mars is not shown, its apparent diameter is 4.27″. Venus has an apparent diameter of 52.85″ and is 11.0% 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 January 26, 2022. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 27th. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using my LookingUp program.

01/19/2022 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

January 19, 2022 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, January 19th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 19 minutes, setting at 5:33, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:13. The Moon, 2 days past full, will rise at 7:15 this evening.

Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week. There are two planets left in the evening sky now. Jupiter will be visible in the southwest by 6:15 pm. Saturn might be visible below and right of it, much closer to the Horizon. Finding Saturn might require the use of a pair of binoculars. Saturn will set at 6:44, while Jupiter will set at 8:22 pm. In the morning sky, Mars will rise at 6:10 am while Venus, our brilliant morning star, will rise at 6:40 am. Both will appear low in the southeastern twilight by 7:15. Mars will be to the right and a bit higher than Venus. Mars’ rival in color and brightness, the red giant star Antares, is to its right and a bit higher. Another bright star is low in the east at that time, the summer evening star Altair.

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.

Addendum

Jupiter and Saturn in the evening

Jupiter and Saturn at 6:15 pm, about 45 or so minutes after sunset over an unobstructed horizon. Jupiter will be quite bright in twilight, while Saturn may require binoculars to find. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The waning gibbous Moon as it might appear in binoculars or small telescope at 8 pm (about 45 minutes after rising) tonight, January 19, 2022. Created using Stellarium.

Venus and Mars in the morning

Venus and Mars as they might appear at 7:15 am, about an hour before sunrise tomorrow morning, January 20, 2022. At that time, the waning gibbous moon will appear in the west. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic views of Jupiter, Saturn and Venus

Telescopic views of the bright planets and their brighter moons (north up) as they would be seen in a small telescope, with the same magnification, overnight, January 19/20, 2022. I do not show planets less than 10 seconds of arc in diameter. Apparent diameters: Saturn 15.29″, its rings 35.63″; Jupiter, 34.19″. Mars is not shown, its apparent diameter is 4.19″. Venus has an apparent diameter of 58.07″ and is 5.2% illuminated. The ” symbol means seconds of arc (1/3600th of a degree.) Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts), though Venus’ image was enhanced in GIMP.

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 January 19, 2022. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 20th. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using my LookingUp program.

01/14/2022 – Ephemeris – Mayan civilization and the planet Venus

January 14, 2022 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Friday, January 14th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 10 minutes, setting at 5:27, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:16. The Moon, 3 days before full, will set at 6:47 tomorrow morning.

The Mayan people of pre-Columbian Central America were diligent observers of the planet Venus. One of their few surviving records is the Dresden Codex. It counts through a long series of Venus’ 584 day cycles. The location of the Mayan cities are a lot closer to the equator than we are, so when Venus disappears as it moves between the Earth and the Sun as it did last weekend, it only disappeared for 8 days. For us, at our latitude, it can be a few days longer. So we should spot it on clear mornings next week in the southeast by 7:15 to 7:30 am. It will appear as a thin crescent in telescopes or even binoculars. Venus will stay in the morning sky until later this year, which will set it up to be a spectacular evening star next year.

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.

Addendum

Venus Cycle

Venus Cycle derived from John P Pratt who had another purpose for the diagram and annotated to include the day number of days in each phase. For my purposes, ignore points 1 and 4. The Mayan cycle starts with 7, the first appearance of Venus during the morning. Points 8 and 5 are the points where Venus is at greatest elongation from the Sun. Credit John P Pratt.

Venus section of the Dresden Codex

Pages of the Dresden Codex, produced by the Maya tracking Venus’ appearances in the skies over the Yucatán, for 104 years. The Dresden Codex is one of only 4 surviving Mayan Codices.