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

March 22, 2017 Leave a comment

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

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

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

Addendum

Morning planets

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

Venus 15 minutes after sunset

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

Jupiter rising

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

Telescopic Jupiter

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

Saturn and its moons

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

Binocular Moon

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

Planets and Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night

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

03/15/2017 – Ephemeris – Wednesday is bright planet day. Do you know where your planets are?

March 15, 2017 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, March 15th.  The Sun will rise at 7:54.  It’ll be up for 11 hours and 54 minutes, setting at 7:48.  The Moon, 3 days past full, will rise at 11:04 this evening.

It’s dark enough to see the morning planets during these Ephemeris programs again.  But it won’t last.  Jupiter will be seen in the morning in the southwest above the star Spica, with the bright waning gibbous moon above and left of them.  It will rise tonight at 9:50 p.m. in the east.  Saturn can be glimpsed this morning above the Teapot figure of Sagittarius.  It will rise tomorrow at 3:37 a.m. in the east-southeast.  In the evening sky tonight Venus, low in the west, is diving toward the Sun, though it will pass north of the Sun.  Actually the thin crescent is showing it, canted a bit to the left, rather than to the right as you’d expect.  Ten days and it’s officially outta here, and into the morning sky.   Mars is still hanging on, way above Venus in the west.

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

Addendum

Morning planets

Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon at 7 a.m. this morning, March 15, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and moons this morning

Jupiter and its moons at 7 a.m. (11:00 UT) March 15, 2017. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Telescopic Saturn and moons

Saturn and its brightest moons as they might appear in telescopes this morning at 7:00 a.m. (11:00 UT) March 15, 2017. Shown at the same magnification as Jupiter above for comparison of apparent sizes. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Early evening planets

Venus and Mars in the west at 8:30 p.m. this evening March 15, 2016. Venus is only 10 days from inferior conjunction with the Sun. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Venus

Venus as it might appear in a telescope at 8:30 p.m. March 15, 2017. Created using Hallo Northern Sky.

This is the first time I’ve used an image from Hallo Northern Sky (HNSKY)  I found Hallo Northern Sky a few years ago and found it difficult to use, but its operation has improved with newer releases.  It looks bare bones, like my LookingUp program, but I have yet to plumb all its depths.  It’s really quite sophisticated.  More clinical than pretty.  I have a link to it on the right under Free Astronomical Software.  It produces a better skinny crescent Venus than the other software I have.

Jupiter rising

Jupiter, Spica and the Moon in the eastern sky at 11:30 p.m. tonight March 15, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and moons in the evening.

Jupiter and its Moons tonight March 15, 2017 at 11:30 p.m.. I noticed Europa’s shadow was cast on the planet. It’s a bit too low in the sky to be seen here in northern Michigan, but easier to see east of here, and as it rises higher. See the table of events below. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Europa: Shadow crossing start: 16 Mar 2017 2:46 UT
Europa: Transit start: 16 Mar 2017 3:55 UT, 15 Mar 11:55 p.m. EDT
Europa: Shadow crossing end : 16 Mar 2017 5:15 UT, 1:15 a.m. EDT
Europa: Transit end : 16 Mar 2017 6:15 UT, 2:15 a.m. EDT
Satellite events were obtained from Project Pluto.

Planets and Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on March 15, 2017. The night ends on the left with sunrise on March 16. Note that Venus is visible at both sunrise and sunset at least on these charts. It will rise only 13 minutes before the Sun, so would not actually be visible. Click on image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

Venus appears 8° 20′ north of the ecliptic (path of the Sun in the sky) now.  This is due to the fact that Venus’ orbit is slightly tilted to the Earth’s orbit by 3.3 degrees, and now it is extremely close to us at only 27 million miles (43.5 million km) from us, a lot closer than Mars ever gets to us.

03/08/2017 – Ephemeris – Bright planet Wednesday

March 8, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Wednesday, March 8th.  The Sun will rise at 7:07.  It’ll be up for 11 hours and 32 minutes, setting at 6:39.  The Moon, 3 days past first quarter, will set at 5:24 tomorrow morning.

Let’s check out the bright planets for this week.  Venus and Mars are in the evening sky. At 7:30 p.m. these planets will be seen in the western sky.  Venus is unmistakable as the brilliant evening star,  Mars will be left and above it and much dimmer.  Venus exhibits a dazzling crescent in small telescopes and binoculars now.  It looks like a tiny Cheshire Cat grin.  Telescopes, however can turn that grin into a frown.  It will set at 9:01 p.m. while Mars will set at 10:12.   Jupiter will rise in the east at 9:22 p.m.  It will also be seen in the morning in the southwest above the star Spica.  Saturn can be glimpsed this and tomorrow mornings in the south-southeast before 6:30 a.m.  It will rise tomorrow at 2:53 a.m. in the east-southeast.

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

Addendum

Early evening planets

Venus and Mars in the west at 7:30 p.m. March 8, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Venus

The thin sliver of Venus as it might appear in a telescope tonight March 8, 2017. I processed the image to overexpose it as it would appear in a telescope. Created using Stellarium.

Moon

The gibbous Moon as it might look in binoculars. 7:30 p.m. March 8, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter in the evening

Jupiter rising in the east at 10:30 p.m. near the star Spica. Created using Stellarium.

Morning Planets

Jupiter in the southwest above the star Spica with Saturn the south-southeast at a.m. tomorrow morning, March 9, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and its moons

Jupiter and its moons at 6 a.m. (11:00 UT) March 9, 2017. Note that Io is transiting the planet at that time. See the list of events for it below. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Events related to the Io transit in the early morning of March 9, 2017

Io’s shadow starts to cross the face of Jupiter: 9 Mar 2017 8:54 UT or 3:54 a.m. EST
Io’s transit of Jupiter starts: 9 Mar 2017 9:35 UT or 4:54 a.m. EST
Io’s shadow leaves the face of Jupiter: 9 Mar 2017 11:05 UT or 6:05 a.m. EST
Io’s transit of Jupiter ends: 9 Mar 2017 11:44 UT or 6:44 a.m. EST

Above times are from Project Pluto:  https://www.projectpluto.com/jevent.htm.  Shadow crossings and transits are difficult to observe.  The beginnings and endings of transits are visible as the satellite disappears and reappears at the edge of the planet.

Saturn and its moons

Saturn and its brightest moons as they might appear in telescopes tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. March 9, 2017. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Planets and Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night

Planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on March 8, 2017. The night ends on the left with sunrise on March 9. Click on image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

 

03/01/2017 – Ephemeris – It’s Bright Planet Wednesday!

March 1, 2017 2 comments

Ephemeris for Ash Wednesday, Wednesday, March 1st.  The Sun will rise at 7:19.  It’ll be up for 11 hours and 11 minutes, setting at 6:30.  The Moon, 3 days past new, will set at 10:14 this evening.

Let’s check out the bright planets for this week.  Saturn can be glimpsed this and tomorrow mornings in the southeast before 6:30 a.m.  It will rise tomorrow at 3:19 a.m. in the east-southeast.  Jupiter can be seen in the southwest these mornings above the star Spica, and later tonight.  The giant planet will rise in the east at 9:52 p.m.  Venus and Mars are in the evening sky. At 7:30 p.m. these planets will be seen in the western sky.  Venus is unmistakable as the brilliant evening star,  Mars will be left and above it and much dimmer.  The Moon will be left of it tonight..  Venus will set at 9:26 p.m. while Mars will set at 10:13.  Venus exhibits a dazzling crescent in small telescopes and binoculars now.

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

Addendum

Evening Planets

Venus. Mars and the Moon in the west at 7:30 p.m. March 1, 2017. The Moon is twice its actual size for clarity. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Venus

Venus as it might appear in a telescope tonight March 1, 2017. I processed the image to overexpose it as it would appear in a telescope. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The crescent Moon with earth shine as it might look in binoculars. 7:30 p.m. March 1, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Morning Planets

Jupiter in the southwest above the star Spica with Saturn in the south at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow morning, Match 2, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and its moons as they might appear in telescopes tomorrow morning at 6:30 a.m. March 2, 2017.  Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Jupiter and its moons as they might appear in telescopes tomorrow morning at 6:30 a.m. March 2, 2017. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Saturn and its moons

Saturn and its brightest moons as they might appear in telescopes tomorrow morning at 6:30 a.m. March 2, 2017. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Planets and Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night

Planets and Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on March 1, 2017. The night ends on the left with sunrise on March 2. Click on image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

02/22/2017 – Ephemeris – The planets this morning and tonight

February 22, 2017 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, February 22nd.  The Sun will rise at 7:31.  It’ll be up for 10 hours and 50 minutes, setting at 6:21.  The Moon, half way from last quarter to new, will rise at 5:33 tomorrow morning.

Let’s check out the bright planets for this week.  Saturn can be glimpsed this morning in the southeast before 7 a.m.  It will rise tomorrow at 3:45 a.m. in the east-southeast.  Jupiter can be seen in the south-southwest this morning above the star Spica.  The giant planet will rise tonight in the east at 10:22 p.m.  Venus and Mars are in the evening sky. At 7 p.m. these planets will be seen in the western sky.  Venus is unmistakable as the brilliant evening star,  Mars will be left and above it and much dimmer.  Venus will set at 9:45 p.m. while Mars will set at 10:13.  Venus exhibits a dazzling crescent in small telescopes now, but a month from now it will be too close to the Sun to be seen.

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

Addendum

Morning planets

Jupiter in the south above the star Spica with Saturn in the southeast and the crescent Moon further to the left at 7 a.m. this morning, February 22, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and moons in a telescope

Jupiter and its moons as they might appear in telescopes this morning at 6:30 a.m. February 22, 2017. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Saturn and its moons

Saturn and its brightest moons as they might appear in telescopes this morning at 6:30 a.m. February 22, 2017. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Binocular Moon

The Moon as it might appear in binoculars at 6:30 a.m. this morning February 22, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Evening planets

Venus and Mars in the evening twilight of about an hour after sunset. at 7 p.m. tonight February 22, 2017. Venus is now drawing away from Mars as it heads toward and north of the Sun. Their apparent paths won’t cross again until October in the morning sky. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Venus

Venus as it might appear in a telescope tonight February 22, 2017. I processed the image to overexpose it as it would appear in a telescope. Created using Stellarium.

Planets and Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night

Planets and Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on February 22, 2017. The night ends on the left with sunrise on February 23. Click on image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

 

 

02/15/2017 – Ephemeris – Your weekly look at the bright planets

February 15, 2017 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, February 15th.  The Sun will rise at 7:42.  It’ll be up for 10 hours and 29 minutes, setting at 6:11.  The Moon, 3 days before last quarter, will rise at 11:18 this evening.

Let’s check out the bright planets for this week.  Saturn can be glimpsed this morning in the southeast at 7 a.m.  It will rise tomorrow at 4:10 a.m. in the east-southeast.  Jupiter can be seen in the south-southwest this morning above the star Spica in Virgo and below left of the Moon.  Jupiter will rise tonight in the east at 10:47 p.m.  Venus and Mars are in the evening sky. At 7 p.m. these planets will be seen in the west-southwestern sky.  Venus is unmistakable as the brilliant evening star,  Mars will be left and above it and much dimmer.  Venus will set at 9:52 p.m. while Mars will set at 10:14.  Venus exhibits a dazzling crescent in small telescopes now, but a month from now as it gets closer to Earth the thinning crescent will be big enough to be seen in binoculars.

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

Addendum

Evening planets

Venus and Mars in the evening twilight of about an hour after sunset. 7 p.m. February 15, 2017. Venus is now drawing away from Mars as it heads toward the Sun faster than Mars. Their apparent paths won’t cross again until October in the morning sky. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Venus

Venus as it might appear in a telescope tonight February 15, 2017. I processed the image to overexpose it as it would appear in a telescope. Venus is getting closer to the Earth at 40.5 million miles, 65.2 million km. It is 38.3″ (arc seconds) in diameter, slightly smaller that Jupiter’s apparent diameter. Created using Stellarium.

Morning planets

Jupiter in the south above the star Spica and the waning gibbous Moon to the right with Saturn in the southeast at 7 a.m. this morning, February 15, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

What the waning gibbous Moon might look like in binoculars this morning at 7 a.m. February 15, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and moons

Jupiter and its moons hanging on the east side of the planet as they might appear in telescopes this morning at 7 a.m. February 15, 2017. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Saturn and its moons

Saturn and its brightest moons as they might appear in telescopes this morning at 7 a.m. February 15, 2017. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Planets and Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night

Planets and Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on February 15, 2017. The night ends on the left with sunrise on February 16. Click on image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.

02/08/2017 – Ephemeris – Four bright planets are visible, two each in the evening and morning

February 8, 2017 Comments off

Ephemeris for Wednesday, February 8th.  The Sun will rise at 7:52.  It’ll be up for 10 hours and 9 minutes, setting at 6:01.  The Moon, 2 days before full, will set at 6:44 tomorrow morning.

Let’s check out the bright planets for this week.  Saturn can be glimpsed this morning in the southeast at 7 a.m.  It will rise tomorrow at 4:35 a.m. in the east-southeast.  Jupiter can be seen in the south-southwest this morning above the star Spica in Virgo.  Jupiter will rise tonight at 11:19 p.m.  Venus and Mars are in the evening sky. At 7 p.m. these planets will be seen in the west-southwestern sky.  Venus is unmistakable as the brilliant evening star,  Mars will be left and above it and much dimmer.  Mars will set at 10:14.  Venus itself will set at 9:52 p.m.  Venus exhibits a dazzling fat crescent in small telescopes now, but a month from now as it gets closer to Earth the thinning crescent will be big enough to be seen in binoculars.

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

Addendum

Evening planets

Venus and Mars in the evening twilight of about an hour after sunset. 7 p.m. February 8, 2017. Venus is now drawing away from Mars as it heads toward the Sun faster than Mars. Their apparent paths won’t cross again until October in the October sky. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Venus

Venus as it might appear in a telescope tonight February 8, 2017. I processed the image to overexpose it as it would appear in a telescope. Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

What the Moon might look like in binoculars tonight at 7 p.m. February 8, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Morning Planets

Jupiter in the south above the star Spica with Saturn the southeast at 7 a.m. this morning, February 9, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Jupiter and its moons

Jupiter and its moon in a compact arrangement as they might appear in telescopes this morning at 7 a.m. February 8, 2017. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic Saturn and its moons

Saturn and its brightest moons as they might appear in telescopes this morning at 7 a.m. February 8, 2017. Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Planets and Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night

The planets and Moon at sunset and sunrise of a single night starting with sunset on the right on February 8, 2017. The night ends on the left with sunrise on February 9. Click on image to enlarge. Created using my LookingUp program.