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08/22/2018 – Ephemeris – All five bright planets visible now

August 22, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, August 22nd. The Sun rises at 6:53. It’ll be up for 13 hours and 43 minutes, setting at 8:37. The Moon, half way from first quarter to full, will set at 4:00 tomorrow morning.

It’s Wednesday and time to look for and 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 9 p.m. until it sets at 10:02 p.m. Jupiter will be in the southwest as it gets dark. It is only outshone by Venus, the Moon, and currently Mars. Jupiter will set at 11:30 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 9:49 p.m. and will set at 2:15 a.m.. Mars will be low in the southeast as the skies darken tonight. and is now 38.9 million miles (62.7 million km) away. It will set at 3:51 a.m. The fifth planet Mercury will rise at 5:27 a.m. 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 visible at 9:30 p.m., almost an hour after sunset. August 22nd, 2018. Also shown is the Moon. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic planets

Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars with the same magnification at 9:30 p.m. August 22, 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).

Binocular Moon

The gibbous Moon as it should appear tonight. Created using Stellarium. Stellarium.

Moonball

Demonstration of the Moon’s gibbous phase with the Styrofoam moon ball we use for Project Astro held up to a light off frame to the right. The night side of the ball is illuminated a bit by the translucency of the ball, and the reflection off my hand. Note the roughness of the ball is visible only at the terminator.

My program about the Moon’s crescent phase aired last Thursday and a demonstration of it using a moonball is here.

Mercury in the morning

Mercury seen at 6 a.m., about an hour before sunrise. A bonus, the constellation Orion appears without the possibility of frostbite. Click on the image to enlarge. 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 August 22, 2018. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 23rd. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

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08/15/2018 – Ephemeris – Spotting the bright planets this week

August 15, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, August 15th. The Sun rises at 6:45. It’ll be up for 14 hours and 3 minutes, setting at 8:48. The Moon, 3 days before first quarter, will set at 11:29 this evening.

It’s Wednesday and time to look for and 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 9:10 p.m. until it sets at 10:20 p.m. Jupiter will be in the southwest as it gets dark. It is only outshone by Venus, the Moon, and currently Mars. Jupiter will set at 11:52 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 10:18 p.m. and will set at 2:43 a.m.. Mars will be low in the southeast as the skies darken tonight. and is now 37.3 million miles (60.1 million km) away. It will set at 4:21 a.m. It is being slowly left behind by the faster moving Earth.

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 visible at 10 p.m., one hour after sunset. August 15th, 2018. Also shown are the constellations. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

What the Moon might look like at 10 p.m., August 15th, 2018. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic planets

Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars with the same magnification at 10 p.m. August 15, 2018. Jupiter’s satellite label Io is shown. However at 10 p.m. it’s occulted by Jupiter. The occultation began at 9:35 p.m. EDT (01:35 UT the 16th) and will emerge from Jupiter’s shadow at 1:02 a.m. EDT (05:02 UT) after Jupiter sets locally. Mars is also shown enlarged. It seems that 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 August 15, 2018. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 16th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

08/08/2018 – Ephemeris – Let’s check out the bright planets for the week

August 8, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, August 8th. The Sun rises at 6:37. It’ll be up for 14 hours and 22 minutes, setting at 8:59. The Moon, 3 days before new, will rise at 4:20 tomorrow morning.

It’s Wednesday and time to look for and 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 9:20 p.m. until it sets at 10:36 p.m. Jupiter will be in the southwest as it gets dark. It is only outshone by Venus, the Moon, and currently Mars. Jupiter will set at 12:26 a.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 10:46 p.m. and will set at 3:12 a.m.. Mars will be low in the southeast as the skies darken tonight. and is now 36.2 million miles (58.3 million km) away. It is being slowly left behind by the faster moving Earth.

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 visible at 10 p.m., one hour after sunset. August 8th, 2018. Also shown are the constellations. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic planets

Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars with the same magnification at 10 p.m. August 8, 2018. Jupiter’s satellite Io is shown. However at 10 p.m. Io is still is Jupiter’s shadow and will emerge at 11:07 p.m. Mars is also shown enlarged. It seems that the global dust storm is abating, so the albedo features are beginning to be seen. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts) which does not properly show Jovian shadow events with the moons.

Binocular Moon

What the Moon might look like at 5:30 a.m., August 9th, 2018 with earthshine. Created using Stellarium.

Planets and the Moon on a single night sunset 08/08/18 to sunrise 08/09/18

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on August 8, 2018. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 9th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

08/01/2018 – Ephemeris – The bright planets for the first of August

August 1, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, August 1st. The Sun rises at 6:29. It’ll be up for 14 hours and 39 minutes, setting at 9:08. The Moon, 3 days before last quarter, will rise at 11:43 this evening.

It’s Wednesday and time to look for and at the bright planets. Four of them are visible in the evening sky. The brilliant beacon of Venus will be visible in the western twilight from about 9:30 p.m. until it sets at 10:52 p.m. Jupiter will be in the southwest as it gets dark. It is only outshone by Venus, the Moon, and currently Mars. Jupiter will set at 12:48 a.m. Saturn will start the evening low in the south-southeast and will stay relatively low, above the Teapot of Sagittarius. It will be due south at 11:15 p.m. and will set at 3:41 a.m.. Mars will be low in the southeast as the skies darken tonight. and is now 35.8 million miles (57.6 million km) away. It is being slowly left behind by the faster moving Earth.

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

Addendum

Evening planets

Evening planets visible at 10 p.m. August 1st, 2018. Also shown are the zodiacal constellations and the ecliptic. The ecliptic, which is the plane of the Earth’s orbit and near where than rest of the planets appear because the solar system is pretty flat. Also note that Venus, which will reach greatest eastern elongation from the Sun on the 17th, is not very high above the horizon. That’s because the ecliptic meets the horizon at a shallow angle. In spring Venus would be very high on the west. The projection shows Venus and Mars a bit higher in the sky than they actually are. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

What the Moon might look like in binoculars at 2 a.m., August 2nd, 2018. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic planets

Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars with the same magnification at 10 p.m. August 1, 2018.
Mars is also shown enlarged. It seems that 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 sunset 08/01/18 to sunrise 08/02/18

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on August 1, 2018. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 2nd. Mars, being close to opposition and very much south of the ecliptic is not in the sky at either sunrise or sunset, I showed a patch of sky with Mars in it in the at sunset still below the horizon. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

07/25/2018 – Ephemeris – The bright planets this week

July 25, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, July 25th. The Sun rises at 6:21. It’ll be up for 14 hours and 55 minutes, setting at 9:16. The Moon, 2 days before full, will set at 5:13 tomorrow morning.

It’s Wednesday and time to look for and at the bright planets. Three of them are visible in the evening sky. The brilliant beacon of Venus will be visible in the western twilight from about 9:40 p.m. until it sets at 11:07 p.m. Mercury, is now too close to the Sun be seen. Jupiter will be in the south-southwest as it gets dark. It is only outshone by Venus, the Moon, and for a few weeks by Mars at its closest. Jupiter will set at 1:15 a.m. Saturn will start the evening low in the southeast and will stay relatively low, above the Teapot of Sagittarius. It will be due south at 11:45 p.m. and will set at 4:10 a.m.. Mars will rise at 9:49 p.m. and is now only 36.0 million miles (57.9 million km) away. It will reach opposition early Friday morning.

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

Addendum

Evening planets + 1

Evening planets from Venus to Saturn plus Moon and the officially morning planet (for two more days) Mars at 10:30 p.m., July 25, 2018. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The Moon as it might be seen in binoculars this evening. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic planets

Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars with the same magnification at 10:30 p.m. July 25, 2018.
Mars is also shown enlarged. It seems that the global dust storm may be abating according to one report I saw on Twitter. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Planets and the Moon on a single night sunset 071818 to sunrise 071918

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on July 25, 2018. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 26th. Mars, being close to opposition and very much south of the ecliptic is not in the sky at either sunrise or sunset, I showed a patch of sky with Mars in it in the morning that was below the horizon. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

07/19/2018 – Ephemeris – The Moon passes the evening planets one by one over the next week

July 19, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, July 19th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 7 minutes, setting at 9:22, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:16. The Moon, at first quarter today, will set at 1:29 tomorrow morning.

The Moon is making its monthly journey around the sky. Tonight it will be west or to the right of Jupiter. Tomorrow night Jupiter will be directly below the Moon. Next Tuesday night Saturn will appear below and left of the Moon. Next Thursday night Mars will appear below and to the left of the Moon. Mars at that time will be actually far south of the Moon, so that event usually doesn’t show in almanacs. Mars, being very close to us is in a part of its orbit that takes it south of the Earth’s orbital plane. We see that plane as the ecliptic or path of the Sun. We see the same situation when Venus is close to the Earth, and it is north or south of the ecliptic. The Moon can pass them without being listed as a conjunction.

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

Addendum

Moon and the evening planets

Here’s the Moon passing each of the superior evening planets in the 8 days from July 20 to July 27 2018. By the time the Mon will pass Mars it will truly be an evening planet. Mars will be at opposition with the Sun that day. Note that the Moon’s size is exaggerated by a factor of 4 to show its phase at this scale. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

07/18/2018 – Ephemeris – Our weekly look at the bright planets

July 18, 2018 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, July 18th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 8 minutes, setting at 9:23, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:15. The Moon, 1 day before first quarter, will set at 1:01 tomorrow morning.

It’s Wednesday and time to look for and at the bright planets. Four of them are in the evening sky. The brilliant beacon of Venus will be visible in the western twilight from about 9:40 p.m. until it sets at 11:21 p.m. Mercury, is fading and is far below and right of Venus, setting at 10:18 p.m. Jupiter will be in the south as it gets dark. It is only outshone by Venus, the Moon, and for a few weeks by Mars at its closest. Jupiter will set at 1:42 a.m. Saturn will start the evening low in the southeast and will stay relatively low, above the Teapot of Sagittarius. It will be due south at 12:14 a.m. and will set at 4:40 a.m.. Mars will rise at 10:20 p.m. and is now only 36.8 million miles (59.2 million km) away, in telescopes it appear to be 23.7″ (seconds of arc) in diameter.  It will be due south and at its highest in the sky at 2:35 a.m. at 21 degrees altitude.

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

Addendum

Evening planets

Evening planets from Mercury to Saturn and Moon at 9:50 p.m., July 18, 2018. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Mars in the south

Mars at its highest in the south with Saturn at 2:35 a.m. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The moon as it might be seen in binoculars this evening. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic view of Jupiter, Saturn and Mars at 11 p.m. on July 18. All at the same magnification. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Planets and the Moon on a single night sunset 071818 to sunrise 071918

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on July 18, 2018. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 19th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.