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Posts Tagged ‘Mercury’

08/09/2017 – Ephemeris – Where are the bright planets tonight?

August 9, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Wednesday, August 9th. The Sun rises at 6:38. It’ll be up for 14 hours and 18 minutes, setting at 8:56. The Moon, 2 days past full, will rise at 10:06 this evening.

Let’s take our weekly look at the bright planets. Jupiter is sinking in the west-southwest as it gets dark in the evening. The bright blue-white star Spica, which pales in comparison to Jupiter, is seen left of it. In even the smallest telescopes Jupiter’s four largest moons can be seen. They shift positions from night to night. Jupiter will set at 11:15 p.m. Saturn can now be seen in the south as evening as twilight fades. The reddish star Antares is off to the right of Saturn. Saturn’s rings are spectacular in telescopes. It will set at 2:20 a.m. In the morning sky, brilliant Venus will rise at 3:38 a.m. and be visible until about 6 tomorrow morning. Mars and Mercury are now too close to the Sun for us to see.

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

Addendum

Evening planets

Jupiter and Saturn at 10 p.m. August 9, 2017. Jupiter is slowly approaching Saturn in our skies and will pass Saturn on December 21, 2020, and every 20 years for the rest of this century. Created using Stellarium.  Click on the image to enlarge.

Jupiter and its moons

Jupiter and its moons at 10 p.m. August 9, 2017. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Saturn and its brightest moons

Saturn and its brightest moons overnight August 9/10, 2017. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

The Moon and Venus

The Moon and Venus at 5:30 a.m. August 10, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The Moon as it might be seen in binoculars at 5:30 p.m. August 10, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Venus

Venus in a telescope on the morning of August 10, 2017. It is greatly enlarged here to show its phase. Created using Stellarium.

Planets and Moon on a single night

Planets at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on August 9, 2017. The night ends on the left with sunrise on August 10. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

 

05/17/2017 – Ephemeris – Let’s look at the bright planets for this week

May 17, 2017 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, May 17th.  Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 54 minutes, setting at 9:06, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:11.  The Moon, 1 day before last quarter, will rise at 2:20 tomorrow morning.

Let’s take our weekly look at the bright planets.  Mars is still in the west-northwest after sunset and fading.  It appears under the left edge of the constellation Auriga.  It will set at 10:54 p.m.  Dominating the evening sky now is Jupiter in the south-southeast.  The bright blue-white star Spica is seen below and left of it.   In even the smallest telescopes Jupiter’s four largest moons can be seen.  They shift positions night from to night and sometimes even as you watch.  Jupiter will set at 4:42 a.m.  At 5:30 a.m. both Saturn and Venus will be in the morning twilight.  Saturn will be low in the south-southwest.  It will rise in the east-southeast at 11:14 p.m.  Brilliant Venus will be low in the east tomorrow morning after rising at 4:27 a.m.

For us Mercury, at greatest western elongation of 25.8°will be on the horizon at 5:30, but those south of the equator it will be well placed for viewing in the morning.

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

Addendum

Evening planets

Mars and Jupiter with the spring constellations in the fading twilight at 10 p.m., May 17, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter nd moons

Jupiter and its four Galilean moons as they might be seen in a telescope at 10 p.,. May 17, 2017. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Morning planets

Venus, Saturn and the Moon at 5:30 a.m. May 18, 2017. Created using Stellarium. Click on the image to expand.

Saturn and moons

Saturn and its brightest moons at 5:30 a.m. May 18, 2017. This is displayed at the same scale/magnification as the Jupiter image above. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Binocular moon

The Moon as it might be seen in binoculars at 5:30 a.m., May 18, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Telesvopic Venus

Venus as seen through a telescope at 5:30 a.m. May 18, 2017. This is displayed at a larger scale/magnification than the Jupiter and Saturn images above. 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 May 17, 2017. The night ends on the left with sunrise on May 18. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

05/03/2017 – Ephemeris – First look at the bright planets for May

May 3, 2017 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, May 3rd.  The Sun rises at 6:29.  It’ll be up for 14 hours and 20 minutes, setting at 8:49.  The Moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 3:43 tomorrow morning.

Let’s take our weekly look at the bright planets.  Mars is still in the west after sunset and fading.  It’s approaching the star Aldebaran in Taurus now.  It will set at 11:01 p.m.  Not quite dominating the evening sky now due to the Moon is Jupiter in the southeast.  It’s seen above the bright blue-white star Spica.   In even the smallest telescopes Jupiter’s four largest moons can be seen.  They shift positions night to night and even as you watch.  Tonight early in the evening all 4 bright moons can be seen, but the one closest to Jupiter will disappear behind the planet at 10:11 p.m.  It will reappear on the other side at 12:48 a.m.  Jupiter will set at 5:36 a.m.  At 6 a.m. both Saturn and Venus will be in the morning twilight.  At 6 a.m. Saturn will appear to be a bit to the west of south compass point.  It will rise in the east-southeast at 12:13 a.m. tomorrow.  Venus will be low in the east at 6 a.m.  tomorrow morning after rising at 4:52.

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

Addendum

Mars in the west

Mars in the west with bright stars at 10 p.m. May 3, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and the Moon

Jupiter above Spica and the Moon with the bright stars 10 p.m. May 3, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The Moon as it might be seen in binoculars at 10 p.m. May 3, 2016. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and its moons

Jupiter and its moons at 10 p.m. May 3, 2017. The moon Io here is about to be occulted, that is pass behind Jupiter, which it will do at 10:11 p.m. (2:11 UT the 4th) It will reappear at 12:58 a.m. (4:58 UT). Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Saturn and Venus at 6 a.m.

Saturn and Venus at 6 a.m. May 4, 2017 in morning twilight. Created using Stellarium.

Saturn and its moons

Saturn and its moons at 6 a.m. May 4, 2017. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Telescopic Venus

Venus as seen in a telescope at 6 a.m., May 4, 2017. Magnified much more than the other planet images seen here. 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 May 3, 2017. The night ends on the left with sunrise on May 4. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

04/05/2017 – Ephemeris – It’s Wednesday, do you know where your bright planets are?

April 5, 2017 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, April 5th.  The Sun will rise at 7:15.  It’ll be up for 12 hours and 59 minutes, setting at 8:15.  The Moon, 2 days past first quarter, will set at 5:04 tomorrow morning.

In the evening twilit sky tonight will feature the elusive planet Mercury.   This tiny planet might be seen to the upper right of the Sun’s setting point starting about 9 p.m.  It will set at 9:55 p.m.  Mercury is getting rapidly fainter because it’s now exhibiting a diminishing crescent to us.  It takes a good telescope and very steady skies to spot Mercury’s phase.  Mars is still hanging on, in the west above and left of Mercury, and will set at 11:09 p.m.  Jupiter will rise about sunset a half hour before the star Spica, which it will be seen to hang out with this year.  Jupiter will be still seen in the morning sky low in the southwest at 6 a.m.  Saturn then is in the south above the Teapot figure of Sagittarius.  It will rise at 2:06 a.m. in the east-southeast.

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

Addendum

Western planets in the twilight

Mercury and Mars low in the west at 9 p.m. April 5, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and the Moon

Jupiter and the Moon at 9:30 p.m. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and moons

Jupiter and its moons as they might be seen in a telescope at 11 p.m. April 5, 2017. It is usually best to let planets rise a bit to minimize the atmospheric effects on the image. Created using Cartes du Ciel.

The Moon tonight

The Moon as it might be seen in binoculars at 9:30 p.m. April 5, 2016. Note the prominent crater Copernicus emerging into sunlight on the left of the Moon.  Created using Stellarium.

If you’d like to check out the Moon in a telescope tonight, check out this posting : https://bobmoler.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/03102014-ephemeris-observibg-the-moon-tonight-and-the-crater-copernicus/

Planets in the morning

The planets visible at 6 a.m. April 6, 2017 Venus is just below the eastern horizon at this hour. Created using Stellarium.

Saturn and its moons

Saturn and its moons at 6 a.m. April 6th, 2017. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Planets and Moon on a single night sunset 04/05/2017 to sunrise 04/06/2017

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on April 5, 2017. The night ends on the left with sunrise on April 6. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

A comet dramatically brightens

Comet 2017 E4 Lovejoy finder chart.

Here is the track for Comet 2017 E4 Lovejoy. This comet was expected to be 14th magnitude, but it’s brightness shot up to around 6.5, within range of binoculars. I’m only plotting 10 days. It should be brightest about mid-month, but is poorly placed for observation, plus we’re fighting a bright Moon. The curved horizontal line near the bottom is the Horizon on April 4, 2017. Created using Cartes du Ciel.

Universe today has lots more on the new Comet Lovejoy here:  https://www.universetoday.com/134848/surprise-comet-e4-lovejoy-brightens/

03/29/2017 – Ephemeris – It’s Wednesday, do you know where your bright planets are?

March 29, 2017 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, March 29th.  The Sun will rise at 7:28.  It’ll be up for 12 hours and 38 minutes, setting at 8:06.  The Moon, 2 days past new, will set at 10:10 this evening.

In the evening sky tonight, replacing Venus will be the elusive planet Mercury.   This tiny planet might be seen to the upper right of the Sun’s setting point starting about 9 p.m.  It will set at 9:49 p.m.  Mars is still hanging on, in the west, and will set at 11:10 p.m.  The thin sliver of a crescent Moon is seen left of and above Mercury and Below Mars tonight.  This might be a good time to spot Earth shine on it’s night side.  Jupiter will rise in the east at 8:47 p.m. a half hour before the star Spica, which it will be seen to hang out with this year.  Jupiter will be still seen in the morning sky low in the southwest at 6 a.m.  Saturn at the same time is in the south above the Teapot figure of Sagittarius.  It will rise tomorrow at 2:33 a.m. in the east-southeast.

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

Addendum

Evening twilight planets

Mercury, Mars and the Moon low in the west at 9 p.m. March 29, 2017. Note the Moon as seen below is a thin crescent which cannot be displayed properly at this scale. Created using Stellarium.

Thin crescent Moon

The thin crescent Moon at 9 p.m. March 29, 2017. Created using Hallo Northern Sky. The program does not have the capability to show earth shine to fill out the rest of the sphere which may be detected with the naked eye or in binoculars.

Jupiter rising

Jupiter low in the east-southeast at 10 p.m. tonight, March 28, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and its moons

Jupiter and its moons tonight March 29, 2017 at 10 p.m. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Morning planets and stars

Jupiter and Saturn with the morning constellations of summer at 6 a.m. tomorrow morning March 30, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Saturn and moons

Saturn and its moons at 6 a.m. March 30, 2017. It is shown at the same scale as Jupiter above. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Planets and Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night

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

03/22/2017 – Ephemeris – Wednesday is bright planet day but we seem to be missing one of them

March 22, 2017 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, March 22nd.  The Sun will rise at 7:41.  It’ll be up for 12 hours and 16 minutes, setting at 7:57.  The Moon, 2 days past last quarter, will rise at 5:09 tomorrow morning.

It’s still dark enough to see the morning planets again during these Ephemeris play times.  But it won’t last.  Jupiter will be seen in the morning in the southwest above the star Spica.  It will rise tonight at 9:19 p.m. in the East.  Saturn can be glimpsed this morning above the Teapot figure of Sagittarius in the south.  It will rise tomorrow at 3 a.m. in the east-southeast.  The crescent Moon will be in the east-southeast.  In the evening sky tonight Venus is essentially gone, just 3 days from passing inferior conjunction, it might be seen to the upper right of the Sun’s setting point.  I once spotted it this close to conjunction in the bright twilight.  It will set at 8:35 p.m.  Mars is still hanging on, in the west, and will set at 11:11 p.m.

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

Addendum

Morning planets

Jupiter, Saturn and the crescent Moon at 7 a.m. this morning March 22, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Venus 15 minutes after sunset

Venus at 15 minutes after sunset on a flat horizon 3 days before inferior conjunction from 45 degrees north latitude. Venus is seen at 3 degrees, 24 minutes above the horizon and practically invisible. Mercury is getting ready for its appearance in the west next week. We will visit it in more detail on Friday.  Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter rising

Jupiter rising and the constellations of winter and spring at 10 p.m. this evening March 22, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Jupiter

Jupiter and its moons at 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. today, March 22, 2017. orientation of Jupiter is as it appears on the sky at those times. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Saturn and its moons

Saturn and its moons at 7 a.m. March 22, 2017. It is shown at the same scale as Jupiter above. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Binocular Moon

The waning crescent Moon at 7 a.m. as it might be seen in binoculars. Created using Stellarium.

Planets and Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on March 22, 2017. The night ends on the left with sunrise on March 23. Note that Venus is visible at both sunrise and sunset at least on these charts. Click on image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

01/25/2017 – Ephemeris – Two planets on the morning and two in the evening

January 25, 2017 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, January 25th.  The Sun will rise at 8:08.  It’ll be up for 9 hours and 33 minutes, setting at 5:42.  The Moon, 2 days before new, will rise at 6:56 tomorrow morning.

Let’s check out the bright planets for this week.  Saturn can be glimpsed this morning at 7 a.m.  It will rise tomorrow at 5:25 in the east-southeast.  Jupiter can be seen in the south-southwest this morning above the star Spica in Virgo.  Jupiter will rise tomorrow at 12:14 a.m.  Venus and Mars are in the evening sky. At 6:30 p.m. these planets will be seen in the southwestern sky.  Venus is unmistakable as the brilliant evening star,  Mars will be above and left of it and much dimmer and will set at 10:14.  Venus itself will set at 9:47 p.m.  Venus exhibits a dazzling fat crescent in small telescopes now, but a month from now as it gets closer to Earth the thinning crescent will be big enough to be seen in binoculars.

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

Addendum

Morning planets

Jupiter in the south above the star Spica with Saturn and Mercury peeking over the horizon in the southeast at 7 a.m. this morning, January 25, 2017. The Moon shows as a big blob when it’s really a very thin crescent. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Jupiter

Jupiter and its moons as they might be seen in a telescope at 7 a.m. this morning January 25, 2016. Though Europa is transiting the face of Jupiter it will not really be visible against the face of Jupiter. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Jupiter satellite events for 2017 can be fund here:  http://www.projectpluto.com/jevent.htm.

Telescopic Saturn

Saturn and its moon Titan as they might be seen in a telescope at 7 a.m. this morning, January 25, 2016. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Evening planets

Venus, and Mars in the evening twilight of about 50 minutes after sunset. 6:30 p.m. January 25, 2017. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Telscopic Venus

Venus as it might appear in a telescope tonight January 25, 2016. I processed the image to overexpose it as it would appear in a telescope. Created using Stellarium.

Planets and Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on January 25, 2017. The night ends on the left with sunrise on January 26.  Click on image to enlarge.  Created using my LookingUp program.

Planets and Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on January 25, 2017. The night ends on the left with sunrise on January 26. Click on image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.