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Posts Tagged ‘Conjunction’

07/13/2016 – Ephemeris – The evening planets continue to march westward

July 13, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, July 13th.  Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 16 minutes, setting at 9:26, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:11.  The Moon, 2 days past first quarter, will set at 2:23 tomorrow morning.

Let’s check out the bright naked eye planets tonight.  Jupiter is in the west in the evening.  It will set at 11:59 p.m.  It’s below-left of the stars of Leo this year.  Binoculars can make out some of Jupiter’s moons, but a telescope is required to see all four bright moons and Jupiter’s cloud features.  Mars starts the evening in the southern sky.  It’s above and right of its dimmer look-a-like star Antares, whose name means Rival of Mars.  Mars will be due south at 9:30 p.m. and will set at 2:09 a.m.    The Earth is pulling ahead of Mars so it’s now 58 million miles away and tiny in telescopes.  Saturn is low in the south-southeast.  It’s left of Mars.  Saturn will pass due south at 10:50 p.m. and will set at 3:27 a.m.  It’s a wonderful telescopic sight.

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

Addendum

Evening planets and the Moon at 10:30 p.m. July 13, 2016. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and moons at 10:30 p.m. on July 13, 2016.  Jupiter’s apparent diameter will be 33.2″. Created using Cartes du Ciel.

The Moon as seen in a pair of binoculars or small telescope with some prominent craters labeled at 10:30 p.m. on July 13, 2016.  Created using Virtual Moon.Atlas.

Mars as seen in a large telescope.  Note the decidedly gibbous phase at 10:30 p.m. on July 13, 2016. Mars’ apparent diameter will be 14.8″. Created using Cartes du Ciel.

Saturn and its larger moonsat 10:30 p.m. on July 13, 2016. Saturn’s apparent diameter wil be 18.0″ and the rings 41.9″ Created using Cartes du Ciel.

All the planets and the Moon from sunset July 13, 2016 to sunrise on the 14th. Created using my Looking up program.

Extra

I noticed Venus and Mercury near each other but very low in the sky, so I investigated.  They are too low to be easily seen.

Venus and Mercury at 9:45 p.m., about 20 minutes after sunset tonight. Venus is 2.5 degrees above a flat horizon, and Mercury is 2 degrees.

Saturday night, same time, Venus will be 3 degrees up with Mercury above it in conjunction. Created using Stellarium. Give it a go.  Good luck!

Note:  The images and captions were uploaded via my phone after a storm too out the WiFi in the condo we’re staying in on vacation.

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02/23/2016 – Ephemeris – The king of the planets is planning to conquer the evening sky. Tonight its enlisting help from the Moon.

February 23, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Tuesday, February 23rd.  The Sun will rise at 7:31.  It’ll be up for 10 hours and 50 minutes, setting at 6:21.   The Moon, 1 day past full, will rise at 7:32 this evening.

Rising with the Moon tonight will be the planet Jupiter which will appear to the left of the Moon as they rise, to the upper left of the  Moon at 10 p.m. and above the Moon at midnight.  NASA’s Juno spacecraft, launched in 2011, is planned to arrive at Jupiter on July 4th this year.  No, it’s not a coincidence.  It will orbit the planet for nearly two years.  It’s the only solar-powered spacecraft that can operate as far from the Sun as Jupiter, which is 5 times farther from the Sun as the Earth, which gets one 5th squared or one twenty-fifth the intensity of sunlight.  It has 3 huge solar panels making the spacecraft 66 feet wide.  It’s mission is about Jupiter, its internal structure, atmosphere and magnetic and radiation fields.

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

Addendum

Jupiter and the Moon

Jupiter and the Moon animation. Note their change in position relative to each other at 8 p.m., 10 p.m. and midnight. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Chart) and GIMP.

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Closeup of Jupiter and the Moon

Closeup of Jupiter and the Moon at 10 p.m., February 23, 2016. The Moon is a whole lot brighter, and Jupiter dimmer than what’s shown here. Created using Stellarium.

Juno Spacecraft

The Juno spacecraft. Credit: NASA.

10/23/2015 – Ephemeris – Jupiter approaches Venus this weekend

October 23, 2015 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, October 23rd.  The Sun will rise at 8:08.  It’ll be up for 10 hours and 36 minutes, setting at 6:45.   The Moon, 3 days past first quarter, will set at 4:23 tomorrow morning.

Over the weekend the planets Venus and Jupiter will approach each other, until on Monday morning they will be a bit more than a degree apart, or twice the diameter of the Moon apart.   Of course in reality Jupiter is far more distant than Venus.  Jupiter is 563 million miles (906 million km) away, while Venus is only 63 million miles (101 million km) away, about a ninth of Jupiter’s distance.  Also, on Monday Venus will be at its greatest western elongation from the Sun, that is its greatest angular separation from the Sun of 46 degrees.  Venus, like Mercury, which went through its greatest western elongation last week have orbits of the Sun inside that of the Earth, so never stray far from it.  Venus never rises or sets more than 3 hours from the Sun.

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

Addendum

Jupiter passes Venus

Jupiter passing Venus with Mars nearby in the east on the mornings of October 23, 24, 25, 26 and 27, 2015. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

Check out my posts on the last two conjunctions of Jupiter and Venus in this series on August 18, 2014, and June 30, 2015.  I discuss the possible connection to the Star of Bethlehem on my June 29th post.

06/11/2015 – Ephemeris – Jupiter and Venus continue to appear to approach each other during this month

June 11, 2015 Comments off

Thursday, June 11th.  Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 31 minutes, setting at 9:28.   The Moon, 2 days past last quarter, will rise at 3:27 tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow the Sun will rise at 5:56.

In the western sky at sunset can be seen the brilliant evening star Venus and the bright but dimmer Jupiter.  Jupiter is slowly moving eastward against the stars of the constellation Leo, but is losing the battle with the Earth’s own motion around the Sun. and is setting about 4 minutes earlier each night.  Venus is moving faster eastward against the stars, setting only 2 minutes earlier each night.  On June 30th it will only be two thirds of the Moon’s diameter south of Jupiter.  However Venus will finally surrender to the Sun and will pass Jupiter again on August 3rd, being 7 degrees or 14 moon widths south of Jupiter.  Venus will pass the Sun first on August 15th, followed by Jupiter on the 26th, both entering the morning sky.

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

Addendum

Jupiter-Venus animation

Jupiter-Venus approach animation June 11 to July 1, 2015 at 10:30 p.m. Created using Stellarium and GIMP. Click on image to enlarge.

Jupiter-Venus conjunction

Conjunction of Jupiter and Venus at low power. They will be 20′ apart at 10:30 p.m. EDT June 30, 2015 (2:30 UT July 1, 2015). Created using Stellarium.

Later this month I will have a post showing that this conjunction and a similar conjunction of August last year are a near repeat of two Jupiter-Venus Conjunctions of 3 and 2 BC. which are candidates for the Star of Bethlehem.

Here’s your chance to find Neptune – tonight only

January 19, 2015 Comments off
Mars and Neptune

Mars and Neptune tonight only. Here is where Cartes du Ceil (Sky Charts) puts them at 7 p.m. January 19, 2015. They will be low in the southwest. Mars is second magnitude, Neptune is 8th.

The outer red circle matches that of the popular Telrad telescope finder and is a bit smaller (4º) than 7 or 10 power binoculars.  The smaller circle is a 2° circle.  It will take binoculars at least and a clear sky to spot this outermost planet.

Galileo actually recorded Neptune with his primitive telescope when Jupiter passed it.  But to Galileo it was simply a background star.

Note:  The 7 p.m. time in the caption is local to western lower Michigan.  My location is 43 minutes behind Eastern Standard Time.  If you are near your time meridian the time is more likely 6:15 p.m.  This normally isn’t a big deal, but These planets are close to setting.

08/27/2014 – Ephemeris – Where are the bright planets for this week?

August 27, 2014 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, August 27th.  The sun will rise at 6:59.  It’ll be up for 13 hours and 28 minutes, setting at 8:27.   The moon, 2 days past new, will set at 9:12 this evening.

Let’s take our weekly look at the bright planets.  Reddish Mars is in the constellation of Libra the scales, skirting below, left of Saturn in the southwest as darkness falls.  It is in conjunction with Saturn today, as it passes due south of the ringed planet.  Mars will set at 11:07 p.m.  Saturn will set at 11:23 p.m.  Saturn viewing with a telescope will suffer because it’s getting close to the horizon but it’s still possible to see those fabulous rings and its large moon Titan.  Brilliant Jupiter will rise in the east-northeast at 4:44 a.m. tomorrow, followed by the brighter Venus, which will rise at 5:37 a.m.  Jupiter is increasing its distance from the sun, while Venus is retreating toward the Sun from our point of view.

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

Addendum

Evening planets

Saturn and Mars in conjunction at 9:30 p.m., August 27, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

Saturn

Telescopic Saturn. Do not expect to spot any other of Saturn’s moon other than Titan. 9:30 p.m., August 27, 2014.  Created using Stellarium.

Morning planets

Jupiter and Venus and the rising winter constellations at 6 a.m. August 28, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Jupiter

Telescopic view of Jupiter and its 4 Galilean moons at 6 a.m. on August 28, 2014. Created using Stellarium.

08/15/2014 – Ephemeris – Jupiter and Venus will appear to cross paths Monday morning

August 15, 2014 Comments off

Ephemeris for Friday, August 15th.  The sun rises at 6:45.  It’ll be up for 14 hours and 2 minutes, setting at 8:47.   The moon, 2 days before last quarter, will rise at 11:33 this evening.

Over this weekend the planets Venus and Jupiter will be seen to approach each other.  In reality Jupiter is five times the Earth’s distance behind the sun, while Venus is about 70 percent of Earth’s distance behind the sun.  Most of the motion against what stars can be seen after 5:30 a.m. will be Venus, being dragged by the sun plus its own orbital motion toward the east.  Jupiter is moving eastward too, but is taking its sweet time of 12 years to orbit the sun.  The planets will cross, or be in conjunction at about midnight Monday morning, before they rise.  By the time they will rise around 5:12 a.m. the two planets will be half the width of the Moon apart, slightly farther apart than they were at midnight.

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

Addendum

 

Jupiter and Venus

Watch Jupiter and Venus approach each other and separate. From August 15 to August 18, 2018. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.