Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Mars’

04/08/2020 – Ephemeris – Morning planets are not practicing social distancing

April 8, 2020 Leave a comment

Note:  It seems the title is appropriate to our current predicament even though I hadn’t thought about it when I wrote and recorded the radio script that follows last Sunday.

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, April 8th. Today the Sun will be up for 13 hours and 9 minutes, setting at 8:19, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:08. The Moon, 1 day past full, will rise at 9:16 this evening.

Let’s look at the naked-eye planets for this week. Venus is our evening star shining brightly in the west above the Pleiades. It will set at 12:33 a.m. The rest of the planet action is in the morning sky where there are three planets nearly evenly spread out in the southeast. Bright Jupiter will rise first at 3:46 a.m. Followed by Saturn at 4:05 a.m. Mars, left and below Saturn will rise at 4:27 a.m. It’s now as bright as a first magnitude star because it’s down to 130 million miles (209 million km) away, as the Earth slowly overtakes it at the rate of about 5 million miles (8 million km) a week. It’s brighter than the star Antares in the southwest. Mars will be closest to us in October, which makes a good time to launch spacecraft to it few months before then.

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

Addendum

Venus in the evening

Venus in the evening with the setting winter stars including those in Orion and Taurus at 10 p.m. April 8, 2020. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

The Moon as it might be seen in binoculars at 10 p.m. April 8, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

The morning planets and the southern summer stars in the moonlight at 6 a.m. April 9, 2020. The bright star on the right is Antares. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic planets

The planets as seen in a telescope with the same magnification. Venus in the evening and Jupiter and Saturn in the morning on the night of April 8/9, 2020. Apparent diameters: Venus, 28.21″; Jupiter, 38.00″; Saturn, 16.34″, rings, 38.07″. Mars at 6.72″ won’t be added until it reaches 10″. 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

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on April 8, 2020. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 9th. The planet traffic jam in the morning sky unfortunately overlays planets and labels. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

 

04/01/2020 – Ephemeris – Looking at the naked-eye planets for this week

April 1, 2020 Comments off

Ephemeris for April Fools Day, Wednesday, April 1st. Today the Sun will be up for 12 hours and 48 minutes, setting at 8:11, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:20. The Moon, at first quarter today, will set at 4:23 tomorrow morning.

Let’s look at the naked-eye planets for this week. Venus is our evening star shining brightly in the west just below the Pleiades. It will set at 12:26 a.m. The rest of the planet action is in the morning sky where there are three planets close together in the southeast. Bright Jupiter will rise first at 4:11 a.m. Followed by Saturn 4:31 a.m. Mars, left and below Saturn will rise at 4:39 a.m. It’s now as bright as a first magnitude star because it’s down to 135 million miles (217 million km) away, as the Earth slowly overtakes it at the rate of about 5 million miles (8 million km) a week. It’s brighter than the star Antares in the south-southwest. Mars passed Saturn yesterday afternoon moving eastward much faster than Saturn was.

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

Addendum

Venus and the Pleiades

Venus under the Pleiades tonight at 10 p.m. April 1, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The Moon as it might look like in binoculars this evening April 1, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Morning planets and the southern stars of summer

Morning planets and the southern stars of summer at 6 a.m. tomorrow morning April 2, 2020. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic planets

The planets as seen in a telescope with the same magnification. Venus in the evening and Jupiter and Saturn in the morning on the night of April 1/2, 2020. Apparent diameters: Venus, 25.85″; Jupiter, 37.21″; Saturn, 16.16″, rings, 37.65″. Mars at 6.46″ won’t be added until it reaches 10″. 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

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on April 1, 2020. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 2nd. The planet traffic jam in the morning sky unfortunately overlays planets and labels. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

03/25/2020 – Ephemeris – Let’s look at the naked-eye planets for this week

March 25, 2020 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, March 25th. Today the Sun will be up for 12 hours and 26 minutes, setting at 8:02, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:33. The Moon, 1 day past new, will set at 9:21 this evening.

Let’s look at the naked-eye planets for this week. Venus is our evening star shining brightly in the west. It will set at 12:14 a.m. The rest of the planet action is in the morning sky where there are three planets close together in the southeast. Bright Jupiter will rise first at 4:35 a.m. Followed by Mars, left and below, rising at 4:50 a.m. It’s now as bright as a first magnitude star because it’s down to 140 million (226 million km) miles away, as the Earth slowly overtakes it at the rate of about 5 million miles (8 million km) a week. It’s brighter than the star Antares in the south-southwest. And lastly, Saturn will rise at 5:01 a.m. Mars is about half way between Jupiter and Saturn. It will pass Saturn next Tuesday.

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

Addendum

Day and a half old Moon

Day and a half old Moon low over a Lake Michigan horizon tonight at 8:30 p.m. March 25, 2020. The bright edge of the Moon will be a sit brighter, and the earthshine on the night side of the Moon a bit dimmer. Created using Stellarium.

Venus and the setting winter stars

Venus and the setting winter stars tonight at 10 p.m. March 25, 2020. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Morning planets

Saturn, Mars and Jupiter with the southern summer stars at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow March 26, 2020. Mars will pass Saturn on the 31st. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic planets

The planets as seen in a telescope with the same magnification. Venus in the evening and Jupiter and Saturn in the morning on the night of March 25/26, 2020. Apparent diameters: Venus, 23.85″; Jupiter, 36.46″; Saturn, 15.99″, rings, 37.26″. Mars at 6.22″ won’t be added until it reaches 10″. The ” symbol means seconds of arc (1/3600th of a degree.) Click on the image to enlarge. 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 March 25, 2020. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 26th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

03/19/2020 – Ephemeris – Mars will pass Jupiter tomorrow morning

March 19, 2020 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, March 19th. Today the Sun will be up for 12 hours and 7 minutes, setting at 7:54, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:44. The Moon, 3 days past last quarter, will rise at 6:31 tomorrow morning.

Spring will start today, or rather this evening 10 minutes before midnight. But today I’d like to talk about something more immediately visible than the vernal equinox, that is the conjunction of Mars passing Jupiter tomorrow morning. In astronomy a conjunction means that the two planets pass north and south of each other. On Earth we’d say that they had the same longitude. In the sky that would be the same right ascension. The term longitude in the sky is given to measurements along the ecliptic or Sun’s path in the sky, which were more important to ancient astrologers interested more in the motions of the planets, which hung close to the ecliptic. On Earth, measurement of longitude is made from Greenwich Observatory in England, in the sky right ascension is reckoned from the point in the sky where the Sun will be at 11:50 this evening.

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

Addendum

Jupiter and Mars in conjunction near Saturn

The three morning planets in the southeast at 7 a.m. Friday March 20, 2020. Appearing in the southeast means that Mars being south of Jupiter does not mean that it is not directly below Jupiter. See the chart below. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and Mars in conjunction near Saturn with equatorial grid

The same chart as above with celestial equatorial coordinates. The lines labeled 19h and 20h near the top are right ascension lines. The lines crossing them are lines of declination which are analogous to latitude on the Earth. Created using Stellarium.

Slightly off topic

Right ascension is measured in hours, minutes and seconds.  Because the Earth revolves within the starry sky in 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds, special clocks can be made to run fast by that amount.  These are sidereal clocks, and tell sidereal time or star time for one’s location on the Earth, which is the right ascension of the sky or celestial sphere on that’s due south or more properly on the meridian.

Time panel for LookingUp

The time panel from my LookingUp program showing date, time and the sidereal time that corresponds to it for my location.

03/18/2020 – Ephemeris – Let’s look at the naked-eye planets for this week

March 18, 2020 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, March 18th. Today the Sun will be up for 12 hours and 4 minutes, setting at 7:53, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:46. The Moon, 2 days past last quarter, will rise at 5:55 tomorrow morning.

Let’s look at the naked-eye planets for this week. Venus is our evening star shining brightly in the west. It will set at 12:07 a.m. The rest of the planet action is in the morning sky where there are three planets close together in the southeast. Mars will rise first at 5:01 a.m. It’s now as bright as a first magnitude star because it’s down to 145 million (234 million km) miles away, as the Earth slowly overtakes it at the rate of about 6 million miles (9 million km) a week. It’s brighter than the star Antares in the southwest. Bright Jupiter will rise at 5:03 a.m. And lastly, Saturn will rise at 5:27 a.m. Mars is catching up to Jupiter and Saturn. It will pass south of Jupiter in two days, and Saturn on the 31st.

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

Addendum

Venus and zodiacal light

Venus in a very faint zodiacal light at 10 p.m. March 18, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Morning planets and the Moon

Morning planets and the Moon for 7 a.m. Thursday, March 19, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon tomorrow morning

The Moon as it might be seen in binoculars at 7 a.m. tomorrow March 19, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic planets

The planets as seen in a telescope with the same magnification. Venus in the evening and Jupiter and Saturn in the morning on the night of March 18/19, 2020. Apparent diameters: Venus, 22.2″; Jupiter, 35.8″; Saturn, 15.8″, rings, 36.9″. Mars at 6.0″ won’t be added until it reaches 10″. 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

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on March 18, 2020. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 19th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

 

03/17/2020 – Ephemeris – A planetary traffic jam tomorrow morning

March 17, 2020 2 comments

Ephemeris for St. Patrick’s Day, Tuesday, March 17th. Today the Sun will be up for 12 hours and 1 minute, setting at 7:52, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:48. The Moon, 1 day past last quarter, will rise at 5:12 tomorrow morning.

What I’m going to talk about today is the confluence of the Moon and planets, none of which is green for St. Patrick’s day. The event actually takes place tomorrow morning, which looks like a real planet traffic jam. Of course it just looks like it. The Moon is about 240 thousand miles (390 thousand km) away, Mars is 146 million miles (235 million km), and Jupiter is three and a half times farther away than Mars, and Saturn is twice as far away as Jupiter. These are seen in the southeast, from right to left are Mars, and Jupiter, close together and Saturn a bit farther away. The crescent Moon will pass south of Mars at 4:19 a.m., and Jupiter at 6:18 a.m. The Moon will pass south of Saturn at 8 p.m. tomorrow night while they are below the horizon.  By the time they rise Thursday morning the Moon will be a ways left and below Saturn.

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

Addendum

Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Moon traffic Jam

Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Moon traffic Jam as it will appear in the southeast at 7 a.m. March 18, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

 

03/11/2020 – Ephemeris – Let’s look at the naked-eye planets for this week

March 11, 2020 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, March 11th. Today the Sun will be up for 11 hours and 42 minutes, setting at 7:44, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:59. The Moon, 2 days past full, will rise at 10:26 this evening.

Let’s look at the naked-eye planets for this week. Venus is our evening star shining brightly in the west for most of the evening. It will set at 11:49 p.m. The rest of the planet action is in the morning sky where there are three planets close together in the southeast. Mars will rise first at 5:11 a.m. It’s getting as bright as a first magnitude star because it’s down to 151 million (243 million km) miles away, as the Earth slowly overtakes it at the rate of about 6 million miles (9 million km) a week. It’s brighter than the star Antares in the southwest. Bright Jupiter will rise at 5:23 a.m. And lastly, Saturn will rise at 5:43 a.m. Mars is catching up to Jupiter and Saturn. It will pass south of Jupiter on the 20th, and Saturn on the 31st. It might be worth getting up for before 7 a.m. to view.

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

Addendum

Venus and evening bright stars

Venus and evening bright stars tonight at 9 p.m., March 11, 2020. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Morning Planets and the Moon

Morning Planets and the Moon at 7 a.m. tomorrow morning March 12, 2020. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon tomorrow morning

Binocular Moon tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. March 12, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

The planets as seen in a telescope with the same magnification

The planets as seen in a telescope with the same magnification. Venus in the evening and Jupiter and Saturn in the morning on the night of March 11/12, 2020. Apparent diameters: Venus, 20.7″; Jupiter, 35.1″; Saturn, 15.7″, rings, 36.6″. Mars at 5.8″ won’t be added until it reaches 10″. 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

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on March 11, 2020. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 12th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.