Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Moon’

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.

04/26/2021 – Ephemeris – There’s a full supermoon tonight

April 26, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Monday, April 26th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 2 minutes, setting at 8:41, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:38. The Moon, at full today, will rise at 8:19 this evening.

The full moon tonight is the full Pink Moon, and a supermoon. As down as I am about full moons due to the fact that they light up the sky and flood out the dimmer objects in the sky, I once in a while stop and view it. The time of the full moon is 11:31 tonight, so when it rises tonight we will be looking at the moon from very nearly the direction of the Sun, so there will be few shadows to be had. The crater Tycho is near the bottom or south end of the moon and has long rays of tiny ejecta craters. The full moon is the best time to see these rays, which are easily visible in binoculars, through which Tycho itself looks like a bright dot. In telescopes Tycho looks like a small bright crater with a dark ring around it. The full moon is super bright. It’s daytime over there.

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

Addendum

High contrast full Moow
The full Moon 7 hours before it was officially full. The contrast was greatly enhanced to bring out Tycho’s ray system. The crater Tycho is at the south part of the Moon and appears bright with a dark ring around it. Credit Bob Moler.
Tycho and Kepler
Tycho and Kepler. Artist for Tycho: Eduard Ender (1822-1883). Artist for Kepler, unknown. Source: Wikipedia

Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler are inexorably linked in astronomical history. Tycho was famously stingy with the results of his observations. It was only after his death that Kepler was able to have access to them. Mars was the planet that was hardest to model in both the Ptolemaic geocentric and Copernican heliocentric universes, since both assumed the planetary orbits were circular. So both resorted to epicycles in an attempt to tweak their models in an attempt to fit with observational reality.

Both Tycho and Kepler have craters named for them on the Moon. Tycho gets a splashy crater on the southern part of the Moon. Kepler, however, gets a small crater on the plains of Oceanus Procellarum west of the crater Copernicus on the left side of the Moon, as we see it

04/21/2021 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

April 21, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, April 21st. Today the Sun will be up for 13 hours and 47 minutes, setting at 8:35, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:46. The Moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 4:56 tomorrow morning.

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, between the constellations of Taurus the bull below and Gemini the twins above. Tonight it’s just off Castor’s big toe. Mars will set at 1:30 am. Venus is now just east of the Sun, setting 31 minutes after sunset. It will be late May or early June before it will be easily spotted in the evening twilight. Mercury is between the Sun and Venus. Saturn and Jupiter are at a far enough angle from the Sun to be spotted in the morning twilight. Saturn will rise at 3:51 am, with Jupiter rising at 4:28 am. By 6 am they will be low in the southeast.

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

Addendum

Mars and the Moon with the fleeing stars of winter tonight at 10 pm, April 21, 2021. Created using Stellarium.
The moon as it might appear tonight, April 21, 2021. Created using Stellarium.
Jupiter and Saturn in the morning twilight tomorrow morning, April 22, 2021. Created using Stellarium.
Saturn and Jupiter as seen in a small telescope at the same magnification. Apparent diameters: Saturn, 16.46″, rings, 38.36″; Jupiter, 36.55″. Mars is too far away to make out detail on its surface, except maybe a polar cap. Its apparent diameter is 4.81″. 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 21, 2021. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 22nd. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

04/14/2021 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

April 14, 2021 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Wednesday, April 14th. Today the Sun will be up for 13 hours and 27 minutes, setting at 8:27, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:58. The Moon, 3 days past new, will set at 11:11 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, between the constellations of Taurus the bull below and Gemini the twins above. Mars will set at 1:39 am. Venus is now just east of the Sun, setting 23 minutes after sunset. It will be late May or early June before it will be easily spotted in the evening twilight. The other three naked-eye planets are west of the Sun in the morning sky. Only Saturn and Jupiter are at a far enough angle from the Sun to be spotted in the morning twilight. Saturn will rise at 4:17 am, with Jupiter rising at 4:53 am. By 6 am they will be low in the southeast.

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

Addendum

Mars and the Moon finder
Mars and the Moon finder with the fleeing star of winter in the western sky near the end of twilight. The time will be 10 pm, April 14, 2021. The Moon is an actual crescent as seen below. Created using Stellarium.
Binocular Moon
The crescent Moon showing earth shine at 10 pm April 14, 2021. Created using Stellarium.
Jupiter and Saturn Jupiter ans Saturn in the morning
Jupiter and Saturn low in the southeastern sky at 6 am, about an hour before sunrise tomorrow morning April 15, 2021. Created using Stellarium.
Jupiter and Saturn through a telescope
Jupiter and Saturn as seen in a small telescope at the same magnification. Apparent diameters: Jupiter, 35.90″; Saturn, 16.27″, rings, 37.91″. Mars is too far away to make out detail on its surface, except maybe a polar cap. Its apparent diameter is 4.96″. The ” symbol means seconds of arc (1/3600th of a degree.) Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).
The Moon and planets on a single night
Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on April 14, 2021. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 15th. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

04/05/2021 – Ephemeris – Saturn, Jupiter and the Moon will be seen together tomorrow morning

April 5, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Monday, April 5th. Today the Sun will be up for 13 hours even, setting at 8:15, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:13. The Moon, 1 day past last quarter, will rise at 5:15 tomorrow morning.

By 6:30 am tomorrow morning, if it’s clear the waning crescent Moon will be seen near Saturn and Jupiter low in the southeastern sky. Saturn will be almost directly above the Moon. And Jupiter, which is much brighter than Saturn, will be farther off to the left of the Moon at the same height. At that hour, Saturn will be only 14 degrees above the horizon, while Jupiter will be only 10 degrees up. This will make telescopic viewing tough, since you’re looking through a lot of atmosphere. The planet images won’t be sharp and will be undulating due to atmospheric currents, though they are usually not as bad in the early morning as they are in the evening. Wednesday morning the Moon will be below Jupiter. However, in the coming weeks the planets will be getting higher. Both planets will be in prime evening position by August.

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

Addendum

Saturn, Jupiter and the waning crescent Moon at 6:30 am tomorrow, April 6, 2021. Created using Stellarium 0.21.0.

03/31/2021 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

March 31, 2021 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Wednesday, March 31st. Today the Sun will be up for 12 hours and 44 minutes, setting at 8:09, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:23. The Moon, 3 days past full, will rise at 12:11 tomorrow morning.

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-southwest at 9 pm tonight, above the orange star Aldebaran in the face of Taurus the bull. Mars will set at 1:54 am. Right now three of the other four naked eye planets are just west of the Sun in the Morning sky. Venus is now below and just a bit east of the Sun, setting four minutes after sunset. Only Saturn and Jupiter are at a far enough angle from the Sun to be just spotted in the morning twilight. Saturn will rise at 5:10 am, with Jupiter rising 31 minutes later. By 6:30 am they will be low in the southeast. The Sun is rising earlier by 2 minutes a day now, while sunset is nearly matching that pace in the opposite direction.

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

Addendum

Mars in the evening
Mars with nearby stars n the fading twilight of 9 pm, about 50 minutes after sunset, tonight March 31, 2021. Created using Stellarium.
Saturn and Jupiter low in the sky at 6 am tomorrow, April 1, 2021, about an hour and a half before sunrise. Created using Stellarium.
The waning gibbous Moon as it might appear in a small telescope or binoculars
The waning gibbous Moon as it might appear in a small telescope or binoculars at 6 am tomorrow, April 1, 2021. Created using Stellarium.

The new version of Stellarium I’m using, 0.21.0, has new textures for the Moon that are more realistic and show finer detail than earlier versions. If the Moon is enlarged to fill the window, clicking on a feature will reveal its name.

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on March 31, 2021. The night ends on the left with sunrise on April 1st. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

03/24/2021 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

March 24, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, March 24th. Today the Sun will be up for 12 hours and 22 minutes, setting at 8:00, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:36. The Moon, 3 days past first quarter, will set at 6:26 tomorrow morning.

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 high in the west-southwest at 9 pm tonight, above the orange star Aldebaran in the face of Taurus the bull, between it and the much higher star Capella in the west northwest. Mars will set at 2:01 am. Right now three of the other four naked eye planets are just west of the Sun in the Morning sky. Venus is now below and just a bit west of the Sun. Only Saturn and Jupiter are at a far enough angle from the Sun to be just spotted in the morning twilight. Saturn will rise at 5:35 am, with Jupiter rising a half hour later. By 7 am they will be low in the southeast.

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

Addendum

Mars in the evening

Mars appears above Aldebaran and the letter V of stars of the Hyades which is the face of Taurus the bull tonight March 24, 2021. This image is for 9 pm. or about an hour after sunset. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The waxing gibbous Moon as it might be seen in binoculars tonight at 9 pm, March 24, 2021. Created using Stellarium.

Morning planets

Jupiter and Saturn low in the southeast at 7 am tomorrow morning, March 25, 2021. Note that they will probably appear dimmer than shown. 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 March 24, 2021. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 25th. Venus is too close and south of the Sun to be plotted. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

03/17/2021 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

March 17, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for St. Patrick’s Day, Wednesday, March 17th. Today the Sun will be up for 12 hours and one minute, setting at 7:51, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:49. The Moon, halfway from new to first quarter, will set at 12:18 tomorrow morning.

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 high in the west-southwest at 9 pm tonight, above a line between the Pleiades star cluster on its lower right and the letter V of stars that is the face of Taurus the bull on its lower left. The Pleiades will be above tonight’s waxing crescent Moon. Mars will set at 2:07 am.

Right now the other four naked eye planets are just west of the Sun in the Morning sky. But only Saturn and Jupiter are at a far enough angle from the Sun to be just be glimpsed in the morning sky. Saturn will rise at 6 am, with Jupiter a half hour later. By 7 am they will be low in the southeast.

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

Addendum

Mars finder animation

Mars finder animation for 9 pm, or about 70 minutes after sunset, tonight March 17, 2021. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

Binocular Moon

The Moon as it might appear tonight, March 17, 2021, in binoculars or a small telescope. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and Saturn tomorrow morning

Jupiter and Saturn tomorrow morning at 7 am, March 18, 2021. Created by 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 March 17, 2021. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 18th. Venus is too close and south of the Sun to be plotted. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

Venus in SOHO LASCO C3 image

Venus in the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) LASCO C3 image. It will pass south and behind the Sun on the 26th and officially enter the evening sky.

03/03/2021 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

March 3, 2021 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Wednesday, March 3rd. Today the Sun will be up for 11 hours and 17 minutes, setting at 6:33, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:14. The Moon, 2 days before last quarter, will rise at 12:09 tomorrow morning.

Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week. Unfortunately the only one you’ll find is Mars. The other four are hanging out in the direction of the Sun and won’t be seen for a week or so. Mars can be found high in the west-southwest and below left of the Pleiades at 8 pm tonight. Mars will be due south of the Pleiades tonight, which from our cockeyed view of the heavens, from north of the equator, places Mars below and left of the Pleiades. The Red Planet will set at 1:20 am. Of the outer planets Mars is the fastest, being the nearest to the Sun, and to the Earth. So unlike Jupiter, Saturn, and the stars which rise and set about four minutes earlier each night, Mars sets about a minute earlier each night now.

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

Addendum

Mars south of Pleiades animation

Here’s an animation showing why Mars being south of the Pleiades doesn’t look like it in the sky. This is all about directions on the celestial sphere. This will be the position of Mars at 8 pm on March 3rd, 2021, seen in the west-southwest. It is a three frame animation. The first is without coordinate grids as one would see it from about 45 degrees north latitude. The second frame contains the equatorial grid. The lines to the upper right point to the North Pole of the sky near Polaris, so that’s north. The third frame has an alt-azimuth grid. Its lines run vertically and horizontally. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

Binocular Moon

The moon as it might appear in binoculars at 6 am tomorrow morning March 4, 2021. 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 March 3, 2021. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 4th. There is a planet traffic jam in the morning and the symbols and labels for Jupiter and Mercury overlap. Unfortunately these planets rise too soon before the Sun to be seen for us up north. It is a great sight for Southern Hemisphere observers. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

 

02/24/2021 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

February 24, 2021 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Wednesday, February 24th. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 55 minutes, setting at 6:24, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:26. The Moon, 3 days before full, will set at 6:56 tomorrow morning.

Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week. Unfortunately the only one you’ll find is Mars. The other four are hanging out in the direction of the Sun and won’t be seen for a week or two. They’ll be first seen low in the morning sky. Mars can be found high in the west-southwest and below the Pleiades at 8 pm tonight. Mars is moving rapidly eastward. It just entered the constellation of Taurus the bull, which is a lot wider than Aries, astronomically*, and will set at 1:26 am. Of the outer planets Mars is the fastest, being the nearest to the Sun, and to the Earth, so unlike Jupiter, Saturn and the stars which rise and set about four minutes earlier each night, Mars sets about a minute earlier each night now.

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

* Astrologically the all the constellations or signs of the zodiac are 30 degrees wide. According to the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Aries is 25 degrees wide along the ecliptic, while Taurus is 37 degrees wide as measured using the Stellarium planetarium program. I do astronomy on Ephemeris, and consider astrology astronomy’s illegitimate parent.

Addendum

Mars finder animation

Mars finder animation with 3 layers: Unannotated chart, Labels and constellation lines added, and boundaries added. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

The gibbous Moon as it might be seen in binoculars this evening at 8 pm tonight, February 24, 2021. Created using Stellarium.

Planets and the Moon on a single night sunset 02/24/21 to sunrise 02/25/21

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on February 24, 2021. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 25th. There is a planet traffic jam in the morning and the labels for Jupiter and Mercury overlap. Unfortunately these planets rise too soon before the Sun to be seen for us up north. It is a great sight for Southern Hemisphere observers. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

Categories: Ephemeris Program, Planets Tags: ,