Author Topic: Where are the planets?  (Read 212 times)

Zack Tucker

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Where are the planets?
« on: December 25, 2017, 09:40:28 AM »
Back in the day I had a Meade ETX 90. It worked great and I loved it.
Saturn, obviously proved to be a favorite.  Getting older, I bought a NexStar 4se, expecting to observe the planets once again.
Alas, no Saturn.  Can you explain the movement of planets, and also, perhaps tell me when they'll again be visible at the Southern California night sky?
Thank You,
Forrest #2



Jacob Cota

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Re: Where are the planets?
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2017, 08:09:14 AM »
http://www.nakedeyep.../visibility.htm

If you download stellarium (http://www.stellarium.org/) and install, this is a planetarium program and you can enter a date/time and see what the sky will look like at that date/time. In general, Jupiter is rising around 6 am now, and will be rising earlier each successive morning until it will be visible in the evening sky sometime in 2017. Another great resource is:

http://www.shopatsky...0-degrees-north

Unfortunately that link is for the 2016 edition -- you presumably want to wait until the 2017 edition comes out. If you subscribe to Sky & Telescope I believe this skygazer's almanac comes with the January edition. I have this posted in my house so I can see what is up on any given night at a glance.

dedlowsthima

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Re: Where are the planets?
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2018, 05:49:52 PM »
Saturn is very low in the west just after sunset. You probably won't see it. Earth is on the other side of the Sun from Saturn right now. In about a month it will appear in the East above the sunrise. By late spring it will be well placed to observe again.

Jupiter is rising higher in the morning sky each day. Well up above the dawn now.

Mars and Venus are in the evening sky after sunset. Mars is very far away, and will stay that way until the Summer of 2018. Venus is the brightest thing in the evening sky. Look toward the southwest.

As the Earth goes around the sun, the planets move from the evening sky to the morning sky and back around each year. Jupiter is currently in Virgo, which is in the evening sky in the Spring. Saturn is currently in Sagittarius which is in the evening sky in the Summer. Venus is closer to the sun than Earth, so it is either above the sunrise or sunset. Mars is outside Earth's orbit, but close. It takes 2 years and 2 months for Earth to catch and pass it. It is only close by when we pass it, which will happen next in July 2018.

middbankrecra

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Re: Where are the planets?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2018, 11:23:46 PM »
Another good place to look: http://www.skyandtel...ky-at-a-glance/

Lamichael Evans

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Re: Where are the planets?
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2018, 12:12:16 AM »
Hi Forrest,

 You JUST missed them! Earlier this year, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn were all out around early spring and into summer. They're almost all gone now, with the exception Mars which is in a major retrograde right now and will be visible well into next year. Saturn is pretty much gone now as of a couple of weeks ago. Neptune and Uranus are out, but they're not terribly exciting to see. Venus is coming out now and is VERY bright in the early evening. However it's just a silver, crescent shape disk. Pretty, but not as stunning as Jupiter and Saturn.

 As the other posts have recommend there are some sites and software that you can use to help you plan some observing times. We're sort in a lull as far as major objects, but with the winter skies coming, Pleiades, Orion Nebula, Andromeda, and some other ones are starting to be more prominent now. I hope this helps!

Eric

Jeffrey Hunter

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Re: Where are the planets?
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2018, 02:26:51 AM »
You may also be able to observe Uranus, which is up pretty high right now in Pisces. Big thread on it here:

http://www.cloudynig...finding-uranus/

Short version, you can see Uranus but it will at best maybe resolve into a tiny blue-green disk with your Nexstar 4SE at some magnification probably above 100x. Neptune is also visible in Aquarius, but will at best be seen as a starlike object. With the goto on the Nexstar, I think you can simply type in the name of the planet and it should go there, but a star map would be helpful to verify which "star" in the FOV is Uranus, especially if the scope sky alignment is less than perfect. Ditto for Neptune which will be even harder to distinguish just based on visual appearance.

vidysriret

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Re: Where are the planets?
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2018, 02:52:02 AM »
ya u just missed them this spring and summer

Matt Gibbs

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Re: Where are the planets?
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2018, 04:37:18 AM »
but spring is almost here again its dec now and its just 1 more month till the new yr

firorectve

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Re: Where are the planets?
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2018, 11:57:52 PM »
Plenty to see up there with a 4SE especially if you are in a darker area.

I like to use Tonight's Sky to plan out my observation sessions. With a GoTo scope like yours you can find lots of targets and really enjoy the sky.

Create a list of targets sorted by constellation using Tonight's Sky -
http://www.cloudynig...ights-sky-free/

Ronald Saldana

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Re: Where are the planets?
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2018, 04:18:27 AM »
Quote
Back in the day I had a Meade ETX 90. It worked great and I loved it.
Saturn, of course was a favorite. Getting old, I bought a NexStar 4se, hoping to see the planets once again.
Alas, no Saturn. Can you explain the movement of planets, and, perhaps tell me when they will again be visible in the Southern California night sky?
Thank You,
Forrest #2

I'm learning all this too. Including learning Stellarium.I went on Stellarium and love it. You can use the side and lower bars to change stuff. I went thru everything.On the bottom bar. Theirsa round circle you canclick on once you haveclicked on a star,planet or number.It will show you a picture of what you clicked on. Theirs a lot more to this than I thought. I haven't even seen the moon yet. Good luck

Richard Washington

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Re: Where are the planets?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2018, 12:43:09 AM »
If you had been particularly diligent one night a few months ago, you could have seen all nine (including Pluto) planets, and the first three asteroids discovered between sundown and midnight. However, that opportunity is pretty much past now. The planets are no longer all on one side of the solar system.

‚ÄčAlex

Nathan Sorgaard

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Re: Where are the planets?
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2018, 02:34:46 AM »
One of my fav websites TimeandDate.com has just launched a 'beta' test page for planet rise and set times in your location.

Try it out here and see what you think.

Grimarlon Warren

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Re: Where are the planets?
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2018, 03:48:07 AM »
This newsletter talks about where the planets will be in December. They will be near bright markers.
http://cosmicpursuit...-december-2016/

tamamatte

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Re: Where are the planets?
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2018, 05:58:01 PM »
Quote
This newsletter talks about where the planets will be in December. They will be near bright markers.
http://cosmicpursuit...-december-2016/


Yep, Ed, I just got that notification in my email, and checked it out... December looks to be a pretty good month for us S.L.A.P. observers!

Best regards!

CB

taibedaha

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Re: Where are the planets?
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2018, 07:13:05 PM »
Quote
but spring is almost here again its dec now and its just 1 more month till the new yr

Uh, Winter doesn't start till Dec 21.....and here, we've had snow into April, trees leaf in May and even into June.