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05/12/2021 – Ephemeris – Searching for the naked-eye planets for this week

May 12, 2021 Leave a comment

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, May 12th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 43 minutes, setting at 9:01, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:16. The Moon, 1 day past new, will set at 10:06 this evening.

Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week. Mars will be joined by two more planets seen in twilight. Both Mercury and Venus are now just above where the Sun set. By 9:30 pm Mercury should be able to be spotted low in the west-northwest. Venus might be spotted lower and somewhat earlier. Venus will be setting at 10:02 pm with Mercury following at 11 pm. Mars can be found in the west at 10 pm tonight, in the constellation of Gemini the twins. Tonight it’s in the middle of the constellation. Mars will set at 1:02 am. Jupiter and Saturn, are in the morning sky. Saturn will rise at 2:30 am, with brighter Jupiter rising at 3:13 am. By 5:30 am they will be low in the southeast in the morning twilight.

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

Addendum

Mercury and Venus low in the west-northwest tonight at 9:30 pm or a half hour after sunset. The one-day-old Moon appears just to the left of Venus. Mercury will be 14 degrees above the Lake Michigan horizon, and Venus only 5 degrees. By tomorrow night, the Moon will be to the left of Mercury. Created using Stellarium.
Mars finder animation for 10:30 pm tonight or about an hour and a half after sunset. Bonus: Mercury is still up. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.
Jupiter and Saturn in morning twilight tomorrow morning May 23, 2021. Created using Stellarium.
Saturn and Jupiter as seen in a small telescope at the same magnification. Apparent diameters: Saturn, 17.05″, rings, 39.71″; Jupiter, 38.83″. Mars is too far away to make out detail on its surface, except maybe a polar cap. Its apparent diameter is 4.43″. Venus’ apparent diameter is 9.97″ and will be added when it gets far enough from the Sun to be easily seen. Mercury’s apparent diameter is 7.29″. The cutoff for whether to show a planet here is an apparent diameter of 10″ or greater. The ” symbol means seconds of arc (1/3600th of a degree). Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).
Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on May 12, 2021. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 13th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

04/28/2021 – Ephemeris – Searching for the naked-eye planets for this week

April 28, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, April 28th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 7 minutes, setting at 8:44, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:35. The Moon, 2 days past full, will rise at 11:06 this evening.

Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week. Unfortunately the only one you’ll find in the evening is Mars. It can be found in the west at 10 pm tonight, in the constellation of Gemini the twins. Tonight it’s just above Castor’s foot. Mars will set at 1:21 am. Both Venus and Mercury are now just east of the Sun and to close to it to be spotted. Venus will be setting 43 minutes after sunset, with Mercury setting 27 minutes later. We should start spotting Mercury next week. It will be late May or early June before Venus will be easily seen. Jupiter and Saturn, are west of the Sun in the morning twilight. Saturn will rise at 3:24 am, with Jupiter rising at 4:03 am. By 6 am they will be low in the southeast. Jupiter, on the left, is the brighter of the two.

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

Venus and Mercury marginally visible over a Lake Michigan horizon 16 minutes after sunset at 9 pm tonight April 28, 2021. Venus will be 4 degrees altitude, Mercury will be 7 degrees altitude.
Mars finder animation for 10 pm tonight, April 28, 2021. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.
The waning gibbous Moon as it might be seen in binoculars or small telescope at midnight overnight April 29, 2021. Created using Stellarium.
Jupiter and Saturn in the morning twilight of 6 am tomorrow morning, April 29, 2021. Created using Stellarium.
Saturn and Jupiter as seen in a small telescope at the same magnification. Apparent diameters: Saturn, 16.65″, rings, 38.78″; Jupiter, 37.26″. Mars is too far away to make out detail on its surface, except maybe a polar cap. Its apparent diameter is 4.67″. Venus’ apparent diameter is 9.81″ and will be added next week. Mercury’s apparent diameter is 6.2″. The cutoff for whether to show a planet here is an apparent diameter of 10″ or greater. The ” symbol means seconds of arc (1/3600th of a degree). Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).
Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on April 28, 2021. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 29th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

01/27/2021 – Ephemeris – Let’s have a lookout for the naked-eye planets for this week

January 27, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, January 27th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 37 minutes, setting at 5:44, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:05. The Moon, 1 day before full, will set at 8:23 tomorrow morning.

Let’s have a lookout for the naked-eye planets for this week. Mercury will be low in the west-southwestern sky around 6:15 pm or about a half hour after sunset. It will set at 7:18 pm. Saturn and Jupiter are too close to the direction of the Sun to be seen. Saturn has passed into the morning sky, while Jupiter will pass behind the Sun tomorrow. Neither of these planets are visible. It will be a month or more before even Saturn will be visible in the morning twilight. Mars can be found quite high in the south at 7 pm. It will actually be due south at 6:43 tonight. Mars is increasing its speed eastward through the constellation of Aries the ram and will set at 1:52 am. Venus will be hard to spot in the morning twilight after it rises at 7:26 am tomorrow.

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

Addendum

Mercury in evening twilight

Mercury in evening twilight at 6:15 pm tonight January 27, 2021. Created using Stellarium.

Mars finder

Mars and neighboring constellations for 7 pm tonight, January 27, 2021. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The Moon as it might be seen in binoculars or low power telescope tonight at 7 pm, January 27, 2021. Created using Stellarium.

Venus rising in the morning

Venus in morning twilight over a water horizon. Around here that would be Lake Huron shortly after 7:30 am tomorrow January 28, 2021. Created using Stellarium.

The graphic illustrating the planets as seen in a telescope is on hiatus until Jupiter and Saturn clear the Sun in the morning sky in a couple of months. Mars appears too small to show any detail in a small telescope.

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 27, 2021. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 28th. I’m afraid that the labels for Jupiter and the Sun overlap, since the planets and Sun are very close. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

 

01/13/2021 – Ephemeris – Let’s take a look for the naked-eye planets for this week

January 13, 2021 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Wednesday, January 13th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 8 minutes, setting at 5:26, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:16. The Moon is new today, and won’t be visible.

Let’s take a look for the naked-eye planets for this week. Mercury has joined Jupiter and Saturn extremely low in the southwestern sky. I’m afraid Saturn will be lost in the twilight, but Jupiter, with Mercury above it might be visible. They are both extremely low in the southwestern sky around 6 pm. Jupiter will set at 6:20 pm with Mercury following 20 minutes later. Quite high in the south at 7 pm Mars can be found. It will be actually due south on the meridian at 7:10 pm tonight. The meridian is an imaginary line that runs from the north compass point on one’s horizon, through the zenith to the south compass point. Mars is beginning to increase its speed eastward and will set at 2:09 am. Venus, our brilliant morning star will rise at 7:15 am in the east-southeast.

Addendum

Jupiter and Mercury in evening twilight

Jupiter and Mercury in evening twilight st 6 pm, about a half hour after sunset over the Lake Michigan horizon. Saturn, though present can’t compete with the bright twilight. The less than one day old moon is setting. Created using Stellarium.

Mars finder animation

Mars finder animation for 8 pm tonight, January 13, 2021 (about 2 1/2 hours after sunset. Looking southward. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

Venus in the morning twilight

Venus in the morning twilight at 7:45 am tomorrow morning January 14, 2021 (about 1/2 hour before sunrise). Created using Stellarium.

The graphic that shows the planets as seen in small telescopes has been discontinued because Jupiter and Saturn are too close to the horizon and Venus and Mars are too small (less than 10 seconds of arc in diameter). It will be resumed in a couple of months when Jupiter and Saturn become visible in the morning sky.

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 13, 2021. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 14th. I’m afraid that the labels for Jupiter and Saturn will overlap, since the planets are very close. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

 

11/17/2020 – Ephemeris – Let’s look for the naked-eye planets for this week

November 18, 2020 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Wednesday, November 18th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 26 minutes, setting at 5:11, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:45. The Moon, halfway from new to first quarter, will set at 8:24 this evening.

Let’s look for the naked-eye planets for this week. Jupiter and Saturn are both low in the southwestern sky 7 to 8 pm. Jupiter is the very bright one. Above and left it will be the somewhat dimmer Saturn. They are near the Moon tonight. They are slowly closing, so they will cross paths on December 21st and be seen in the same telescope field that evening. Jupiter will set first tonight at 9:02 with Saturn following at 9:21. Off in the southeast at that hour will be Mars. Its distance is increasing to 51.5 million miles (82.9 million kilometers) away. Mars will set at 4:10 tomorrow morning. Brilliant Venus will rise at 5:03 am in the east-southeast as it retreats slowly toward the Sun. Close to ending its morning appearance now is Mercury which will rise at 6:15 am in the east.

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

Addendum

Jupiter, Saturn and Moon in the early evening

Jupiter, Saturn and Moon low in the southwest at 7:30 pm tonight, November 18, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Evening planets, Moon, ecliptic and zodiac in the evening

Evening planets, Moon, ecliptic and zodiac at 7:30 pm tonight November 18, 2020. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Venus and Mercury with the star Spica and Corvus in the morning

Venus and Mercury with the star Spica, the ecliptic (path of the Sun) and the constellation Corvus at 6:30 tomorrow morning November 19, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic planets

The planets as seen in a telescope (north up) with the same magnification for the night of November 18/19, 2020. Times of the display are: Jupiter and Saturn, 7:30 pm; Mars, 10 pm; Venus, 6:30 am. Apparent diameters: Jupiter, 35.30″; Saturn, 15.91″, rings, 37.06″; Mars, 16.72″, and Venus 12.15″. Mars also displays an enlargement showing surface detail. Mars was closest to the Earth this go-a-round on October 6. 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 November 18, 2020. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 19th. I’m afraid that the labels for Jupiter and Saturn will overlap, since the planets are getting very close. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

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

November 11, 2020 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Veteran’s Day, Wednesday, November 11th. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 43 minutes, setting at 5:18, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:36. The Moon, 3 days past last quarter, will rise at 4:00 tomorrow morning.

Let’s look for the naked-eye planets for this week. Jupiter and Saturn are both low in the southwestern sky at 8 pm. Jupiter is the very bright one. Above and left it will be the somewhat dimmer Saturn. They are closing slowly, so they will cross paths on December 21st and be seen in the same telescope field that evening. Jupiter will set first tonight at 9:24 with Saturn following at 9:46. Off in the southeast at that hour will be Mars. Its distance is increasing to 47.7 million miles (76.9 million km) away. Mars will set at 4:35 tomorrow morning. Brilliant Venus will rise at 4:46 am in the east as it retreats slowly toward the Sun. Making a morning appearance this week is Mercury which will rise at 5:52 am in the east.

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

Addendum

Evening planet finder animation

Evening planet finder animation for 8 pm November 11, 2020. The orange line is the ecliptic, the plane of the Earth’s orbit projected on the sky, and the path of the Sun through the year. All the planets can be found near that line. The zodiacal constellations from Taurus on the left to Capricornus on the right are shown without labels. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

Morning planets

Mercury, Venus, and the Moon tomorrow morning November 12, 2020 at 6:30 am. The orange line is the ecliptic, the plane of the Earth’s orbit. It is the path of the Sun in the sky, The Moon is a crescent, and displayed at twice its apparent size. Over the next week Venus and Mercury will slide downward along the ecliptic in relation to the stars. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The thin crescent Moon as it might appear in binoculars with earthshine at 6:30 am, November 12, 2020. The very dark crater visible is Grimaldi a 134 mile or 222 kilometer diameter crater named after Francesco Grimaldi a 17th century Jesuit astronomer and physicist. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic planets

The planets as seen in a telescope (north up) with the same magnification for the night of November 11/12, 2020. Times of the display are: Jupiter and Saturn, 8 pm; Mars, 11 pm; Venus, 6:30 am. Apparent diameters: Jupiter, 35.90″; Saturn, 16.07″, rings, 37.43″. Mars, 18.04″, and Venus 12.49″. Mars also displays an enlargement showing surface detail. Mars was closest to the Earth this go round on October 6. 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 November 11, 2020. The night ends on the left with sunrise on 12th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

 

11/04/2020 – Ephemeris – Let’s find the naked-eye planets for this week

November 4, 2020 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, November 4th. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 1 minute, setting at 5:26, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:26. The Moon, half way from full to last quarter, will rise at 8:04 this evening.

Let’s find the naked-eye planets for this week. Jupiter and Saturn are both low in the southwestern sky at 8 pm. Jupiter is the very bright one. Above and left it will be the somewhat dimmer Saturn. They are closing slowly, so they will cross paths on December 21st and be in the same telescope field that evening. Jupiter will set first tonight at 9:42 with Saturn following at 10:07. Off in the southeast at that hour will be Mars. Since the it was closest 29 days ago its distance has increased to 45.0 million miles (72.4 million kilometers) away. Mars will set at 5:04 tomorrow morning. Brilliant Venus will rise at 4:29 am in the east as it retreats slowly toward the Sun. Beginning to make a morning appearance now will be Mercury rising at 5:52 a.m. in the east.

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

Addendum

Evening planets

The evening planets and the Moon at 8 pm, just before the Moon will rise, tonight, November 4, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The waning gibbous Moon as it might be seen in binoculars or a small telescope at 9 pm tonight November 4, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Morning planets

The morning planets Venus and Mercury visible tomorrow at 6:30 am, November 5, 2020 with some of the stars of morning. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

The olane3ts as they might appear in a telescope

The planets as seen in a telescope (north up) with the same magnification for the night of November 4/5, 2020. Times of the display are: Jupiter and Saturn, 8 pm; Mars, 10 pm; Venus, 6:30 am. Apparent diameters: Jupiter, 36.55″; Saturn, 16.24″, rings, 37.83″. Mars, 19.34″, and Venus 12.87″. Mars also displays an enlargement showing surface detail. Mars was closest to the Earth this go-a-round on October 6. 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 November 4, 2020. The night ends on the left with sunrise on 5th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

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.