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Posts Tagged ‘Mars’

01/03/2018 – Ephemeris – The year starts out with all the bright planets in the morning sky

January 3, 2018 1 comment

Ephemeris for Wednesday, January 3rd. The Sun will rise at 8:20. It’ll be up for 8 hours and 54 minutes, setting at 5:14. The Moon, 2 days past full, will rise at 7:30 this evening.

Let’s take our weekly look at the bright planets. While Uranus and Neptune are evening planets, they require binoculars or a telescope to spot. All of the bright naked eye planets are in the morning sky now, However Saturn and Venus, the brightest, are too close to the Sun to be seen. At 7 this morning Mars is in the south-southeast while Jupiter is a lot brighter and below and left of it. Mars will rise tomorrow morning at 3:45. It’s approaching Jupiter which will rise 6 minutes later at 3:51. They will cross paths this weekend, I’ll have more on that tomorrow. Mercury will be a challenge to spot, rising in the east-southeast around 6:38 a.m. now. At 7 a.m. It will require a low horizon, binoculars and luck to find. In its next evening appearance in March it will be placed much higher in the sky for the same twilight conditions.

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

Addendum

Morning planets

Three morning planets are visible at 7 this morning. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and its moons

Jupiter and three of its four Galilean moons as they might be seen in a telescope at 7 a.m. this morning, January 3, 2018. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Event                      UT        EST      
Europa Eclipse starts:    7:51
Io Eclipse starts:        8:35
Io Occultation ends:     11:45    6:45 a.m.
Europa Occultation ends: 12:12    7:12 a.m.

Only the last two events will be visible in the Grand Traverse area.  Occultations now have the moon enter Jupiter’s shadow to the west, then unseen pass behind the planet to emerge at the east edge of the planet.

Binocular Moon

The only bright solar system object visible in the evening is the waning gibbous Moon. Binoculars will reveal several large craters. this evening January 3, 2018. Created using Stellarium.

Planets at sunset and sunrise of a single night

Planets at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on January 3, 2017. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 4th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

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12/27/2017 – Ephemeris – All the bright planets are in the morning sky. However the Moon is in the evening sky.

December 27, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Wednesday, December 27th. The Sun will rise at 8:18. It’ll be up for 8 hours and 50 minutes, setting at 5:08. The Moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 2:43 tomorrow morning.

Let’s take our weekly look at the bright planets. While Uranus and Neptune are evening planets, they require binoculars or a telescope to spot. All of the bright naked eye planets are in the morning sky now, However Saturn and Venus, the brightest are too close to the Sun to be seen. At 7 this morning Mars is in the south-southeast while Jupiter is a lot brighter and below and left of it. Mars will rise tomorrow morning at 3:49. It’s approaching Jupiter which will rise 23 minutes later at 4:12. Mercury will be a challenge to spot, rising in the east-southeast at 6:32 a.m. both today and tomorrow. At 7 a.m. It will require a low horizon, binoculars and luck to find. In its next evening appearance in March it will be placed much higher in the sky for the same twilight conditions.

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

Addendum

Binocular Moon

The only bright solar system object visible in the evening is the gibbous Moon. Binoculars will reveal several large craters this evening December 27, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Morning Planets

Three planets are visible at 7 in the morning. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and moons

Jupiter and its four Galilean moons as they might be seen in a telescope at 7 a.m. this morning, December 27, 2017. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Earlier in the morning both Io and Europa will be eclipsed in Jupiter’s shadow and be occulted by the planet.

Moon    Event           UT       Time in Traverse Area
Europa: Eclipse start   5:15 UT
Io:     Eclipse start   6:43 UT
Europa: Occultation end 9:27 UT  4:27 a.m. EST
Io:     Occultation end 9:47 UT  4:47 a.m. EST
Planets at sunset and sunrise of a single night

Planets at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on December 27, 2017. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 28th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

 

12/20/2017 – Ephemeris – All the visible bright planets are in the morning sky

December 20, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Wednesday, December 20th. The Sun will rise at 8:15. It’ll be up for 8 hours and 48 minutes, setting at 5:04. The Moon, 2 days past new, will set at 7:27 this evening.

Let’s take our weekly look at the bright planets. There are no bright planets visible in the evening sky now. While Uranus and Neptune are evening planets, they require binoculars or a telescope to spot. The morning sky is now host to three planets, though Venus, the brightest will rise too close to the Sun to spot. It’s way on the other side of the Sun, and it will pass behind the Sun in superior conjunction January 9th. At 7 this morning Mars is in the southeast while Jupiter is a lot brighter and below and left of it. Mars will rise tomorrow morning at 3:54. It’s approaching Jupiter which will rise 39 minutes later at 4:33. Tomorrow Saturn will be in conjunction with the Sun and will officially enter the morning sky. It will be a month or more before it separates far enough from the Sun to spot in morning twilight.

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

Addendum

Binocular Moon

The only bright solar system object visible in the evening is the thin crescent Moon that will be exhibiting Earth shine this evening December 20, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Morning Planets

The bright morning planets visible at 7 a.m. this morning, December 20, 2017. Mercury is too close to the horizon to spot. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and its moons

Jupiter and its four Galilean moons as they might be seen in a telescope at 7 a.m. this morning, December 20, 2017. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Planets at sunset and sunrise of a single night

Planets at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on December 20, 2017. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 21st. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

12/14/2017 – Ephemeris – The Moon wanders over to Jupiter this morning

December 14, 2017 1 comment

Dec 14. This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Thursday, December 14th. The Sun will rise at 8:11. It’ll be up for 8 hours and 50 minutes, setting at 5:02. The Moon, half way from last quarter to new, will rise at 5:26 tomorrow morning.

This morning the planet Jupiter will appear right below the crescent Moon. Jupiter is hard to miss, even without the Moon to point it out. It is with the rare exception of Mars when being its closest to the Earth the second brightest of the planets, after Venus. Speaking of Mars, which is to the upper right of Jupiter and has a reddish hue, if you’re going to send anything to Mars, next spring is the time to do it. Flight times to Mars are 6 to 7 months. The midpoint of the flight is when Mars is closest to the Earth, which next year is July 31st. NASA’s Insight Lander, grounded in 2016 due to an instrument failure has to wait 26 months for the next launch opportunity in May of next year.

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

Addendum

The Moon, Jupiter, Mars

The Moon, Jupiter and Mars this morning, December 14, 2017. Earth shine should be visible as shown, though not as prominent. Created using Stellarium.

Hohmann orbit to Mars

A Hohmann lowest energy transfer orbit to Mars. This diagram is for the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity launched in 2003, arrived in 2004. Solid planets, Spirit launch and arrival. Ghost planets, Opportunity launch and arrival. Credit NASA/JPL.

What’s a Hohmann transfer orbit?  NASA explains.

12/13/2017 – Ephemeris – The bright planets of morning

December 13, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Wednesday, December 13th. The Sun will rise at 8:11. It’ll be up for 8 hours and 51 minutes, setting at 5:02. The Moon, 3 days past last quarter, will rise at 4:26 tomorrow morning.

Let’s take our weekly look at the bright planets. We have no bright planets in the evening sky now. While Uranus and Neptune are evening planets, they require binoculars or a telescope to spot. The morning sky is now host to three planets, though Venus, the brightest will rise too close to the Sun to spot. It’s way on the other side of the Sun, and it will pass behind the Sun in superior conjunction January 6th. At 7 this morning Mars is below the crescent Moon in the southeast while Jupiter is a lot brighter and below and left of it. The Moon will be above it tomorrow morning. Mars will rise tomorrow morning at 3:58. Jupiter will rise an hour later at 4:54. Remember that the Geminid meteor shower will reach its peak tonight through tomorrow morning. It’s the best meteor shower of the year.

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

Addendum

Morning planets

Mars, Jupiter and the Moon this morning at 7 a.m., December 13, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The Moon as it might be seen in binoculars this morning at 7 a.m. December 13, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and moons

Jupiter and its 4 Galilean moons as they might be seen in a telescope at 7 a.m. this morning, December 13, 2017. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Planets at sunset and sunrise of a single night

Planets at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on December 13, 2017. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 14th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

Categories: Ephemeris Program, Planets Tags: , ,

12/06/2017 – Ephemeris – Where did all the evening planets go?

December 6, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Wednesday, December 6th. The Sun will rise at 8:04. It’ll be up for 8 hours and 57 minutes, setting at 5:02. The Moon, 3 days past full, will rise at 8:43 this evening.

Let’s take our weekly look at the bright planets. Saturn and Mercury are very close together, but too low after sunset to spot from up North here. Mercury will set at 5:50, while Saturn will set 9 minutes later. While Uranus and Neptune are evening planets, they require binoculars or a telescope to spot. (This is beyond the scope of this program, which is geared to naked eye observing or easy things to find and observe with binoculars or a small telescope).   The morning sky is now host to three planets, though Venus, the brightest will rise close to sun will rise at 7:24 this morning. It’s way on the other side of the Sun, and it will pass behind the Sun in superior conjunction a month from today. At 7 this morning Jupiter is bright, low in the east-southeast, while Mars, the Red Planet is just left of the brighter star Spica, which has a bluish hue. They are higher than Jupiter and to the southeast. Mars will rise tomorrow morning at 4:03. Jupiter will rise more than an hour later at 5:14.

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

Addendum

Stellarium is unable to display Mercury or Saturn in twilight for tonight.

Binocular Moon

The Moon as it might be seen in binoculars at 9:30 p.m. December 6, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Morning planets

Mars and Jupiter in the morning at 7 a.m. December 7, 2017. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and moons

Jupiter and moons on the mornings of December 6th and 7th, 2017. Ganymede and Europa will transit the planet on the 7th later in the morning and in the afternoon to be visible for folks west of here. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Planets at sunset and sunrise of a single night

Planets at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on December 6, 2017. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 7th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

11/29/2017 – Ephemeris – The Bright planets this week

November 29, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Wednesday, November 29th. The Sun will rise at 7:57. It’ll be up for 9 hours and 7 minutes, setting at 5:04. The Moon, 3 days past first quarter, will set at 3:54 tomorrow morning.

Let’s take our weekly look at the bright planets. Mercury is dropping back to the Sun and is fading as its phase changes to a crescent  It will be below and left of Saturn tonight and actually brighter than Saturn. Saturn is sinking low in the southwestern sky. It is becoming harder to spot each evening. Tonight it will set at 6:24 p.m. The morning sky is now host to three planets, though Venus, the brightest will rise at 7:03 this morning and will be fighting twilight as it rises. It’s way on the other side of the Sun, and very tiny in telescopes, though nearly fully illuminated. It’s 156 million miles (251 million km) away. First to rise in the morning is Mars which will rise in the east at 4:07 a.m. tomorrow, Jupiter, will follow and rise at 5:34 a.m. tomorrow.

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

Addendum

Evening planets

Mercury and Saturn at 5:45 p.m., about 45 minutes after sunset, November 29, 2017. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The Moon as it might be seen in binoculars at 7 p.m., November 29, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Morning planets

Mars and Jupiter at 7 a.m., November 30, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and moons

Jupiter and its 4 Galilean moons as they might be seen in a telescope at 7 a.m. November 30, 2017. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Planets at sunset and sunrise of a single night

Planets at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on November 29, 2017. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 30th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.