Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Moon’

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

February 24, 2021 Leave a comment

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: ,

02/17/2021 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

February 17, 2021 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Ash Wednesday, Wednesday, February 17th. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 34 minutes, setting at 6:14, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:38. The Moon, 2 days before first quarter, will set at 12:27 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 until spring. They’ll be first seen in the morning sky. Mars can be found high in the southwest and above the waxing crescent Moon at 8 pm tonight. They will be even closer Thursday night. Mars is increasing its speed eastward through the constellation of Aries the ram, which it’s two thirds the way through, and will set at 1:32 am. Of the outer planets Mars is the fastest, being the nearest to the Sun, and the Earth, so unlike Jupiter, Saturn and the stars which rise and set about four minutes earlier each night, Mars sets less than a minute earlier each night now.

The 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 chart

Mars and the Moon in the southwestern sky at 8 pm tonight, February 17, 2021. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The Moon as it might appear tonight at 8 pm, February 17, 2021. Created using Stellarium.

Planets and the Moon on a single night sunset 02/17/21 to sunrise 02/18/21

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on February 17, 2021. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 18th. 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: ,

02/03/2021 – Ephemeris – Let’s have a lookout for the naked-eye planets

February 3, 2021 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, February 3rd. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 55 minutes, setting at 5:54, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:57. The Moon, 1 day before last quarter, will rise at 1:03 tomorrow morning.

Let’s have a lookout for the naked-eye planets for this week. It’s slim pickings for the bright naked-eye planets, known from antiquity in our skies right now. Only Mars can be spotted. The rest of them are hanging out in the direction of the Sun and won’t be seen for a month or more. Mars can be found high in the south at 7 pm. It will actually be due south at 6:30 tonight. Mars is increasing its speed eastward through the constellation of Aries the ram, which it’s halfway through, and will set at 1:45 am. Of the outer planets Mars is the fastest, being the closest to the Sun, so unlike Jupiter, Saturn and the stars which rise and set about four minutes earlier each night, Mars rises and sets about a minute and a half earlier each day.

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

Addendum

Mars finder

Mars finder chart. Showing Mars in Aries. Also shown are Taurus and Orion. All are seen tonight at 8 pm, February 3, 2021. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon at last quarter.

The Moon as it might look like at last quarter tomorrow morning at 6 am, February 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 February 3, 2021. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 4th. 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.

Categories: Ephemeris Program, Planets Tags: ,

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.

 

01/06/2021 – Ephemeris – Let’s take our first look at the naked-eye planets for 2021

January 6, 2021 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Wednesday, January 6th. Today the Sun will be up for 8 hours and 58 minutes, setting at 5:18, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:19. The Moon, at last quarter today, will rise at 1:57 tomorrow morning.

Let’s take our first look at the naked-eye planets for 2021. Jupiter and Saturn are both extremely low in the southwestern sky around 6 pm. Jupiter is the very bright one. Below and right of it is the dimmer Saturn it by two degrees or four moon widths. They crossed paths for us 16 nights ago. They can still be seen in the same binocular field. Saturn will set first tonight at 6:33 pm with Jupiter following nine minutes later. Quite high in the southeast at that hour will be Mars, still in Pisces. It will pass due south at 7:25 tonight. Mars’ distance is increasing to 88 million miles (141 million km) away. It will set at 2:19 tomorrow morning. Venus, our brilliant morning star will rise at 7:03 am in the east-southeast as it seems to retreat slowly toward the Sun, but actually it’s heading way around behind the Sun.

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

Addendum

Jupiter and Saturn in the twilight

Jupiter and Saturn just above the distant trees at 6 pm January 6, 2021. We might lose them in twilight next week. We’ll have to move to a Lake Michigan horizon to try to spot them. Created using Stellarium.

Mars in the evening

Mars in the evening sky at 8 pm January 6, 2021 looking southward. Mars is on the boarder between Pisces on the right and Aries above and left. Also seen on the left is the tiny dipper shape of the Pleiades or Seven Sisters star cluster and farther to the left the letter V of stars that is the face of Taurus the bull with the bright star Aldebaran. Created using Stellarium.

Waning crescent Moon

The waning crescent Moon at around 7 am January 7, 2021 as it might be seen in binoculars or a small telescope. Created using Stellarium.

Venus in the morning

Venus seen low on the southeastern horizon at 7:30 in the morning on January 7, 2021. Created using Stellarium.

The planets Jupiter and Saturn as they might be seen in a small telescope at 6 pm, January 6, 2021. These planets are seen in twilight so Saturn’s moons will be invisible, and Jupiter’s moons nearly so. Mars is not shown because its apparent size is less than 10″ (seconds of arc in diameter), and Venus, nearly so. Apparent diameters: Jupiter, 32.73″; Saturn, 15.20″, rings, 35.42″; Mars, 9.82″, and Venus, 10.55″ 95% full.

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 6, 2021. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 7th. I’m afraid that the labels for Jupiter and Saturn overlap, since the planets are very close. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

 

12/30/2020 – Ephemeris – Let’s take our last look at the naked-eye planets for this year

December 30, 2020 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Wednesday, December 30th. Today the Sun will be up for 8 hours and 51 minutes, setting at 5:11, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:20. The Moon, 1 day past full, will rise at 5:40 this evening.

Let’s take our last look at the naked-eye planets for this year. Jupiter and Saturn are both low in the southwestern sky around 6 pm. Jupiter is the very bright one. Below and right of it is the dimmer Saturn it by a degree or two moon widths. They crossed paths for us nine nights ago. They can still be seen in the same binocular field. Saturn will set first tonight at 6:57 pm with Jupiter following four minutes later. Quite high in the southeast will be Mars, still in Pisces. Mars’ distance is increasing to 82 million miles (132 million km) away. It will set at 2:29 tomorrow morning. Brilliant Venus will rise at 6:49 am in the east-southeast as it seems to retreat slowly toward the Sun, but actually it’s heading way around behind the Sun.

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

Addendum

Jupiter and Saturn in the evening

Jupiter and Saturn low on the southwestern horizon at 6 pm. Created using Stellarium.

Mars with stars of Taurus

Mars with the stars of Taurus the Bull including Aldebaran with the “V” of stars that are the Hyades that mark the bull’s face and the Pleiades. Seen at 8 pm, December 30, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The Moon as it might be seen tonight at 8 pm, December 30, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Venus in the SE at 7:30 am

Venus in the southeast at 7:30 am. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic views of some bright planets

The planets as seen in a telescope (north up) with the same magnification for the night of December 30/31, 2020. Times of the display are: Jupiter and Saturn, 6 pm; Mars, 8 pm; Venus, 7:30 am. Apparent diameters: Jupiter, 32.92″; Saturn, 15.26″, rings, 35.54″; Mars, 10.52″, and Venus 10.71″. 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.) Planets whose diameters drop below 10″, or are too close to the direction of the Sun to observe will not be shown. 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 December 30, 2020. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 31st. 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.

12/23/2020 – Ephemeris – Let’s look for the naked-eye planets for this Christmas week

December 23, 2020 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, December 23rd. Today the Sun will be up for 8 hours and 48 minutes, setting at 5:06, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:18. The Moon, 2 days past first quarter, will set at 2:49 tomorrow morning.

Let’s look for the naked-eye planets for this week. Jupiter and Saturn are both low in the southwestern sky around 6 pm. Jupiter is the very bright one. Below and right of it is the dimmer Saturn it by a quarter of a degree or half a moon width. They crossed paths for us two nights ago, in 20 years, though not as close. They can still be seen in the same low power telescope field. Saturn will now set first tonight at 7:20 pm with Jupiter following a minute later. Quite high in the southeast and above the 9 day old Moon at that hour will be Mars, still in Pisces. Mars’ distance is increasing to 76 million miles (123 million km) away. It will set at 2:41 tomorrow morning. Brilliant Venus will rise at 6:33 am in the east-southeast as it seems to retreat slowly toward the Sun, but actually it’s heading way around behind the Sun.

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

Addendum

Jupiter and Saturn in the twilight

Jupiter and Saturn in twilight at 6 pm or a bit less than an hour after sunset tonight December 23, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Mars above the Moon

Mars will be seen above the Moon tonight. This is the appearance of both at 6 pm, tonight, December 23, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The gibbous Moon as it might be seen in binoculars this evening at 6 pm December 23, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Venus in the morning twilight

Venus low in the southeast at 7:30 am December 24, 2020. The morning sky is not as friendly to morning planets as it was earlier in autumn. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic planets

The planets as seen in a telescope (north up) with the same magnification for the night of December 23/24, 2020. Times of the display are: Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars, 6 pm; Venus, 7:30 am. Apparent diameters: Jupiter, 33.18″; Saturn, 15.32″, rings, 35.70″; Mars, 11.32″, and Venus 10.89″. 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.) I will no longer show planets whose diameters drop below 10″, or are too close to the direction of the Sun to observe. 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 December 23, 2020. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 24th. 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.

 

 

12/16/2020 – Ephemeris – Let’s look for the naked-eye planets for this week

December 17, 2020 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Wednesday, December 16th. Today the Sun will be up for 8 hours and 48 minutes, setting at 5:03, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:14. The Moon, 2 days past new, will set at 7:09 this evening.

Let’s look for the naked-eye planets for this week. Jupiter and Saturn are both low in the southwestern sky from 6 to 7 pm. Jupiter is the very bright one. Above and left it by half a degree or one moon width will be dimmer Saturn. Below them tonight will be the thin crescent Moon. They will cross paths for us on the evening of December 21st and be seen in the same low power telescope field that evening. Jupiter will set first tonight at 7:40 pm with Saturn following four minutes later. Quite high in the southeast at that hour will be Mars, still in Pisces. Mars’ distance is increasing to 71 million miles (114 million kilometers) away. It will set at 2:55 tomorrow morning. Brilliant Venus will rise at 6:16 am in the east-southeast as it seems to retreat slowly toward the Sun, but actually it’s heading way around behind the Sun.

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

Addendum

Jupiter and Saturn with Moon @ 6 pm

Jupiter and Saturn with Moon at 6 pm tonight December 16, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Evening planet panorama

Evening planet panorama showing Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon setting at 6:30 pm December 16, 2020. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Venus in the morning

Venus low in the southeast at 7 am December17, 2020. Venus is all by its lonesome in the morning sky. No need for a panorama, so we’re zoomed in a  bit. The morning sky has is not as friendly to morning planets as it was earlier in autumn season as we embark into winter next week. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic planets

The planets as seen in a telescope (north up) with the same magnification for the night of December 16/17, 2020. Times of the display are: Jupiter and Saturn, 6 pm and Mars, 8 pm; Venus, 7 am. Apparent diameters: Jupiter, 33.49″; Saturn, 15.41″, rings, 35.90″; Mars, 12.20″, and Venus, 11.10″. Europa is transiting Jupiter and will be generally invisible. 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 December 16, 2020. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 17th. 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.

12/09/2020 – Ephemeris – A look at the naked-eye planets for this week

December 9, 2020 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, December 9th. Today the Sun will be up for 8 hours and 53 minutes, setting at 5:02, the earliest sunset, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:09. The Moon, 2 days past last quarter, will rise at 2:55 tomorrow morning.

Let’s look for the naked-eye planets for this week. Jupiter and Saturn are both low in the southwestern sky from 6 to 7 pm. Jupiter is the very bright one. Above and left it by one and a half degrees or three moon widths will be dimmer Saturn. They are slowly closing, so they will cross paths for us on the evening of December 21st and be seen in the same low power telescope field that evening. Jupiter will set first tonight at 8 pm with Saturn following at 8:08. Quite high in the southeast at that hour will be Mars, still in Pisces. Mars’ distance is increasing to 65.3 million miles (105.2 million km) away. It will set at 3:10 tomorrow morning. Brilliant Venus will rise at 5:58 am in the east-southeast as it retreats slowly towards the Sun, but actually it’s heading around behind the Sun.

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

Addendum

Evening planets animation

The evening planets seen at 6:30 pm or about an hour and a half after sunset December 9, 2020. Animation showing non-annotated sky and then with annotations. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

Venus and the Moon in the morning

Venus and the waning crescent Moon at 6:30 am on December 10, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The waning crescent Moon as it might appear in binoculars or a small telescope at 6:30 am December 10, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic planets

The planets as seen in a telescope (north up) with the same magnification for the night of December 9/10, 2020. Times of the display are: Jupiter, Saturn and Mars, 6:30 pm; Venus, 6:30 am. Apparent diameters: Jupiter, 33.85″; Saturn, 15.51″, rings, 36.13″; Mars, 13.18″, and Venus 11.32″. Io is transiting Jupiter and will be generally invisible. 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 December 9, 2020. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 10th. 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.

12/02/2020 – Ephemeris – A look at the naked-eye planets for this week

December 2, 2020 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, December 2nd. Today the Sun will be up for 9 hours and 1 minute, setting at 5:03, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:02. The Moon, 2 days past full, will rise at 6:51 this evening.

Let’s look for the naked-eye planets for this week. Jupiter and Saturn are both low in the southwestern sky from 7 to 8 pm. Jupiter is the very bright one. Above and left it by 2 degrees or 4 moon widths will be dimmer Saturn. They are slowly closing, so they will cross paths on the evening of December 21st and be seen in the same telescope field that evening. Jupiter will set first tonight at 8:20 with Saturn following at 8:32. Quite high in the southeast at that hour will be Mars, still in Pisces. Mars’ distance is increasing to 60.2 million miles (97.0 million km) away. Mars will set at 3:27 tomorrow morning. Brilliant Venus will rise at 5:40 am in the east-southeast as it retreats slowly towards the Sun, but actually it’s heading around behind the Sun.

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

Addendum

Evening planets and the Moon

The evening planets with the Mon rising at 7 pm tonight December 2, 2020. Click on the image to enlarge. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The Moon as it might be seen tonight at 9 pm, December 2, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

The planets as seen in a telescope (north up) with the same magnification for the night of November 25/26, 2020. Times of the display are: Jupiter, Saturn and Mars, 7 pm; Venus, 6:30 am. Apparent diameters: Jupiter, 34.28″; Saturn, 15.63″, rings, 36.41″; Mars, 14.27″; and Venus, 11.57″. 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.)  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 December 2, 2020. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 3rd. 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.