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Posts Tagged ‘Mercury’

07/29/2020 – Ephemeris – Let’s look at a the naked-eye planets and not so naked-eye comets for this week

July 29, 2020 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Wednesday, July 29th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 45 minutes, setting at 9:11, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:27. The Moon, 2 days past first quarter, will set at 2:27 tomorrow morning.

Let’s look at a the naked-eye planets for this week. Jupiter and Saturn are both low in the southeastern sky in the evening. Jupiter is the very bright one. To the left of it will be Saturn. Both planets will be up most of the night with Jupiter setting first at 5:05 am tomorrow morning and Saturn following at 5:44 am. Comet NEOWISE is in the evening sky fading to below naked-eye visibility and also it is hampered by the bright moon. It was a great sight in this bleak year of 2020. The next planet visible will be Mars which will rise at 12:03 am. Its now down to 60.6 million miles (97.5 million km) away, as the Earth slowly overtakes it at the rate of about 3.6 million miles (5.7 million km) a week. Venus will rise at 3:14 am in the east-northeast as our Morning Star. Finally Mercury will rise at 4:59 am.

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

Addendum

Evening planets Jupiter and Saturn

Evening planets Jupiter and Saturn seen in the southeast at 10 pm, about 45 minutes after sunset July 29, 2020. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The gibbous Moon as it might be seen tonight at 10 pm July 29, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Morning planets

The morning planets as seen at 5:30 am or about an hour before sunrise July 30,2020. Mercury is showing up, rising at 4:56 amClick on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Planets and the Moon on a single night

The planets as seen in a telescope (north up) with the same magnification tonight and tomorrow July 29/30, 2020. Apparent diameters: Jupiter, 47.26″; Saturn, 18.45″, rings, 42.98″ at 10 pm. Mars, 14.40″, and Venus 27.78″ at 5:30 am. Mars also displays an enlargement showing surface detail. 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 July 29, 2020. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 30th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

Comets NEOWISE and Lemmon at 11 pm for the week

Finder chart for Comets NEOWISE and Lemmon at 11 pm for the week of 07/29/20 to 08/04/20. NEOWISE will be a visible in binoculars. Lemmon will require a telescope. Labels give name, month/day and predicted magnitude. Click on the chart to enlarge. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

06/10/2020 – Ephemeris – Let’s look at the naked-eye planets for this week

June 10, 2020 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Wednesday, June 10th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 31 minutes, setting at 9:28, and it will rise tomorrow at 5:56. The Moon, 3 days before last quarter, will rise at 1:38 tomorrow morning.

Let’s look at the naked-eye planets for this week. Mercury is close to the end of its visibility in the evening sky seen low in the northwest after sunset, it will set tonight at 11:03 pm. Jupiter now rises before midnight at 11:41 pm in the east-southeast. It’s still called a morning planet because it’s in the sky at sunrise. Saturn will rise 17 minutes later at 11:58 right behind Jupiter. Mars, is stretching its lead left of Saturn and will rise at 2:10 am in the east. Its now down to 87.6 million miles (141.0 million km) away, as the Earth slowly overtakes it at the rate of about 4.3 million miles (7.0 million km) a week. Jupiter and Saturn will be hanging out Sagittarius and Capricornus this year while Mars is moving rapidly eastward now two constellations over.

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

Addendum

Mercury in the evening

Mercury, very difficult to spot, in the evening tonight at 10 pm, June 10, 2020. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Morning planets

The Morning planets tomorrow at 5 a.m., about an hour before sunrise, June 11, 2020. lick on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Waning gibbous Moon

The waning gibbous Moon tomorrow at 5 am June 11, 2020 as it might appear in binoculars or small telescope. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic planets

The planets as seen in a telescope with the same magnification. Jupiter and Saturn tomorrow morning of June 4, 2020. Apparent diameters: Jupiter, 45.80″; Saturn, 18.03″, rings, 41.99″ and Mars, 9.95″. Mars also shows an enlargement showing surface detail. 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 June 10, 2020. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 11th. The closeness of Jupiter and Saturn in the morning sky unfortunately overlays planets and labels. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

06/03/2020 – Ephemeris – Let’s look at the naked-eye planets for this week

June 3, 2020 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, June 3rd. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 24 minutes, setting at 9:23, and it will rise tomorrow at 5:58. The Moon, 2 days before full, will set at 5:15 tomorrow morning.

Let’s look at the naked-eye planets for this week. This afternoon Venus will pass between the Earth and the Sun and head toward the morning sky. It’s only 26.8 million miles (43.2 million km) away, and quite invisible. Mercury is visible in the northwest after sunset, coming to greatest separation or elongation from the Sun of 23.6 degrees It will set tonight at 11:16 pm. In the morning sky there are three planets in the south and southeast. Bright Jupiter will rise first at 12:10 am, followed by Saturn at 12:26 am. Mars, is stretching its lead left of Saturn and will rise at 2:27 a.m. Its now down to 91.9 million miles (148.0 million km) away, as the Earth slowly overtakes it at the rate of about 4.4 million miles (7.0 million km) a week.

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

Addendum

Mercury in the evening

Mercury in the evening tonight at 10 pm June 3, 2020. This is 11 hours before greatest eastern elongation, 23.6° east of the Sun. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Low Magnification Moon

The Moon in binoculars or a low power telescope. Created using Stellarium.

Morning planets

Jupiter, Saturn and Mars in the growing twilit skies of 5 am tomorrow morning, June 4, 2020. Click on image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic planets

The planets as seen in a telescope with the same magnification. Jupiter and Saturn tomorrow morning of June 4, 2020. Apparent diameters: Jupiter, 45.06″; Saturn, 17.87″, rings, 41.62″. Mars at 9.49″ won’t be added until it reaches 10″, which looks like next week. 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 June 3, 2020. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 4th. The closeness of Jupiter and Saturn in the morning sky unfortunately overlays planets and labels. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

05/27/2020 – Ephemeris – Let’s look at the naked-eye planets for this week

May 27, 2020 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, May 27th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 14 minutes, setting at 9:17, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:02. The Moon, 2 days before first quarter, will set at 1:49 tomorrow morning.

Let’s look at the naked-eye planets for this week. Venus is our evening star shining brightly in the northwest. It will be our evening star for only another week and defeated by twilight for most of that time. A tiny crescent can now be seen in binoculars. It will cross between the Earth and the Sun on June 3rd. It will set tonight at 10:16 p.m. It’s only 27.6 million miles (44.5 million km) away. Mercury is making an appearance above and left of Venus now. In the morning sky there are three planets in the south and southeast. Bright Jupiter will rise first at 12:39 a.m. Followed by Saturn at 12:54 a.m. Mars, is stretching its lead left of Saturn and will rise at 2:44 a.m. Its now down to 96 million miles (155 million km) away, as the Earth slowly overtakes it at the rate of about 5 million miles (8 million km) a week.

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

Addendum

Venus & Mercury in twilight

Venus & Mercury in twilight tonight at 10 p.m. May 27, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

The Moon in a small telescope

The Moon in a small telescope this evening May 27, 2020 with some seas and craters labeled. Created using Stellarium.

The Morning planets

The Morning planets at 5 am. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic planets

The planets as seen in a telescope with the same magnification. Venus, Jupiter and Saturn on the night of May 27/28, 2020. Apparent diameters: Venus, 56.49″. larger than Jupiter, at 44.24″; Saturn, 17.70″, rings, 41.22″. Mars at 9.06″ 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 Chart).

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 27, 2020. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 29th. The closeness of Jupiter and Saturn in the morning sky unfortunately overlays planets and labels. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

 

05/22/2020 – Ephemeris – Venus hangs out with Mercury and the Moon this weekend

May 22, 2020 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Friday, May 22nd. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 5 minutes, setting at 9:12, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:06. The Moon is new today, and won’t be visible

Low in the northwest shortly after sunset our brilliant evening star Venus may be seen. It’s getting closer to the Sun every evening. This is an illusion because Venus is in the process of passing between the Earth and the Sun, so it’s not getting closer to the Sun, but it is getting closer to us at 29 million miles (46.8 million km) today. Mercury has passed Venus and is now to the left and a bit above Venus as seen at 10 p.m. Both are pretty close to the horizon, so you may have to move to a spot with a low northwestern horizon. Tomorrow night the day old sliver of the Moon will be spotted just below both of them. It should be quite a sight with these two planets and the Moon in the twilight, just after sunset.

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

Addendum

Venus, Mercury, Moon Animation

Venus, Mercury, Moon animation for 10 pm May 22nd, 23rd and 24th, 2020. The Moon is shown 3 times actual size in an attempt to show its phase. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

05/20/2020 – Ephemeris – Let’s look at the naked-eye planets for this week

May 20, 2020 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, May 20th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 1 minute, setting at 9:10, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:08. The Moon, 2 days before new, will rise at 5:49 tomorrow morning.

Let’s look at the naked-eye planets for this week. Venus is our evening star shining brightly in the west northwest. It will be our evening star for only the next 2 weeks. A tiny crescent can now be seen in binoculars. It will cross between the Earth and the Sun on June 3rd. It will set at 11:05 p.m. It’s only 30 million miles (48 million km) away. Mercury is making an appearance just below Venus now. In the morning sky there are three planets close together in the south and southeast. Bright Jupiter will rise first at 1:07 a.m. Followed by Saturn at 1:22 a.m. Mars, is stretching its lead left of Saturn and will rise at 3:00 a.m. Mars continues to get closer. Its now down to 101million miles (163 million km) away, as the Earth slowly overtakes it at the rate of about 5 million miles (7 million km) a week.

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

Addendum

Venus and Mercury at 10 pm

Venus and Mercury as it should appear at 10 pm low in the northwest over the Lake Michigan horizon. May 20, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Morning planets

Jupiter, Saturn and Mars seen in the southern sky at 5:30 am tomorrow morning May 21, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic planets

The planets as seen in a telescope with the same magnification. Venus, Jupiter and Saturn on the night of May 13/14, 2020. Apparent diameters: Venus, 52.76″, larger than Jupiter, at 43.37″; Saturn, 17.51″, rings 40.80″. Mars at 8.66″ won’t be added until it reaches 10″. Mercury is gibbous at 6.04″. The ” symbol means seconds of arc (1/3600th of a degree.) Note that Jupiter has two moons in transit, with another behind the planet. The transiting moons are nearly invisible, so only one moon, Callisto is visible. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Jovian satellite events (Subtract 4 hours from UT to get EDT)

Moon      Event          Date         UT
Europa:   Shadow start:  21 May 2020  2:36
Ganymede: Shadow end:    21 May 2020  5:50
Europa :  Shadow start:  21 May 2020  6:13
Ganymede: Transit start: 21 May 2020  7:02
Europa:   Transit start: 21 May 2020  8:22
Europa:   Shadow end:    21 May 2020  8:58
Ganymede: Transit end:   21 May 2020 10:24

Source: The Pluto Project https://www.projectpluto.com/jevent.htm

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 20, 2020. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 21st. The closeness of Jupiter and Saturn in the morning sky unfortunately overlays planets and labels. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

02/19/2020 -Ephemeris – Let’s take a look at the bright planets

February 19, 2020 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, February 19th. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 38 minutes, setting at 6:16, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:36. The Moon, half way from last quarter to new, will rise at 6:12 tomorrow morning.

Let’s look at the naked-eye planets for this week. Venus is our evening star shining brightly in the southwest in the early evening. It will set at 10:03 p.m. Mercury is fading and will set only 58 minutes after the Sun. Mars is visible in the morning sky and will rise in the southeast at 4:34 a.m. It’s not very bright because it’s 167 million (268 million km) miles away, but it’s getting slowly closer to the Earth at the rate of about 4 million miles (6 million km) a week. Jupiter will rise at 5:32 a.m. Lastly, Saturn will rise at 6:04 tomorrow morning with the thin crescent Moon underneath it*. Jupiter will continue to approach Saturn throughout this year until their paths cross on December 21st.

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

* Moon placement in this morning’s program was in error.  The Moon is near Jupiter this morning, not tomorrow morning.

Addendum

Venus and Zodiacal Light

Venus and zodiacal light at 7:30 p.m. this evening February 19, 2020. The zodiacal light will appear more prominent in the next month or so. Here it’s mostly silhouetting the foreground trees. Check my prior posts for zodiacal light. I’ll cover it again in about a month. Created using Stellarium.

Morning planets and the Moon

Morning planets and the Moon tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. February 20, 2020. Note that the Moon is 3 times its normal size. 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. Apparent diameters: Venus, 17.5″; Jupiter, 33.5″; Saturn, 15.4″, rings, 35.7″.

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 February 19, 2020. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 20th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

02/12/2020 – Ephemeris – A look at the bright planets after a month

February 12, 2020 2 comments

Ephemeris for Wednesday, February 12th. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 18 minutes, setting at 6:06, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:46. The Moon, half way from full to last quarter, will rise at 10:32 this evening

It’s been a month since we’ve viewed the bright planets, so let’s have a look. Brilliant Venus is dominating the evening sky in the southwest until it sets at 9:47 p.m. Less noticed is tiny Mercury, below and right of Venus and near the horizon, perhaps best seen in binoculars. It will set at 7:41 p.m. In the morning sky Mars is first to appear and will rise in the east-southeast at 4:40 a.m. It’s brighter than it was last month, it’s 27 million miles closer at 171 million miles. Jupiter will rise at 5:54 a.m. in the east-southeast. This second brightest planet is approaching Saturn in our skies, and will continue until near Christmas. Saturn itself, will rise at 6:30 a.m. in the east-southeast.

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

Addendum

Venus and Mercury in twilight

Venus and Mercury in the twilight at 6:45 p.m. Created using Stellarium.

The Moon and Spica

The Moon and Spica at 7 a.m. in the southwest. Created using Stellarium.

Mornng planets

The morning planets at 7 a.m. Created using Stellarium.

The planets through a telescope

Telescopic views of the planets at the same magnification with Venus tonight at 6:45 p.m. February 12, 2020. Mercury is too small to show a disk at this magnification. At 7 a.m. on the 13th Mars is too tiny to show a disk. Twilight is too bright and Saturn is too low to show its moons. But Jupiter’s Great Red Spot is turned toward the Earth.  Can you spot it? Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Planets and athe Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on January 8, 2020. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 9th. Click on the image to enlarge.  Created using my LookingUp program.

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on February 12, 2020. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 13th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

 

02/11/2020 – Ephemeris – The elusive planet Mercury is appearing in the evening twilight

February 11, 2020 Comments off

I’m back with Ephemeris for Tuesday, February 11th. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 15 minutes, setting at 6:05, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:48. The Moon, 2 days past full, will rise at 9:15 this evening.

The elusive planet Mercury is making it first evening appearance in the sky for this year. Yesterday was its greatest eastern elongation from the Sun of 18 degrees angular distance. It hasn’t changed much for tonight, but will shortly start creeping back towards the Sun. Mercury should be spotted by 6:30 in the evening way below and right of the much brighter Venus in the western sky. It might take binoculars to spot that early, but 15 minutes later it should be visible without them, but be much lower in the sky. Mercury has an 88 day orbit of the Sun, but we are viewing it from another moving planet, so greatest elongations and conjunctions with the Sun occur at roughly 116 day intervals, known as the synodic period.

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

Addendum

Mercury E Elong_1630-021120

Venus and Mercury in the western sky at 6:30 p.m.  (about 25 minutes after sunset)  Created using Stellarium.

Categories: Ephemeris Program, Planets Tags: ,

01/08/2020 – Ephemeris – Looking for the naked-eye planets

January 8, 2020 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, January 8th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours even, setting at 5:19, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:19. The Moon, 2 days before full, will set at 7:15 tomorrow morning.

Let’s look at the naked-eye planets for this week. Venus is our evening star low in the southwest in the early evening. It will set at 8:20 p.m. Saturn sets only 20 minutes after sunset and is not visible. It will pass behind the Sun on the 13th and will then join Jupiter in the morning sky. Jupiter is too close to the Sun in the morning twilight to be seen. Mars is visible in the morning sky and will rise in the east-southeast at 5:02 a.m. It’s not very bright because it’s 198 million (319 million km) miles away, but it’s getting slowly closer to the Earth at the rate of about 4 million miles (6 million km) a week. Mercury is now too close to the Sun to be seen in the morning, but will move into the evening sky on Friday.

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

Addendum

Venus and the Gibbous Moon in the evening

Venus and the Gibbous Moon in the evening tonight at 7 p.m. January 8, 2020. Orion is still easily spotted in the moonlight. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon this evening

The gibbous Moon as it might appear in binoculars at 7 p.m. January 8, 2019. Created using Stellarium.

Very enlarged Venus

Venus, much larger than it would appear in any telescope to show its gibbous phase, tonight January 8, 2019. Created using Stellarium.

Mars in the morning

Mars in the morning with the bright stars at 7 a.m. January 9, 2020. Note that Mars is approaching the red giant star Antares. The name Antares means “Rival of Mars” (Ant – anti, Ares -the Greek god of war that the Romans appropriated as Mars). Mars will pass 4.8 degrees north of Antares on the 17th. 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 January 8, 2020. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 9th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.