Ephemeris for Wednesday, December 18th. Today the Sun will be up for 8 hours and 48 minutes, setting at 5:03, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:15. The Moon, 1 day before last quarter, will rise at 12:28 tomorrow morning.
Let’s look at the naked-eye planets for this week. Venus will be briefly visible low in the southwest before it sets at 7:25 p.m. Jupiter is lost in twilight. It will pass behind the Sun on the 27th and will enter the morning sky. Saturn, the ringed planet, will be in the southwestern sky in the evening, and will set at 6:46 p.m. Tonight Saturn will be about 8 ½ degrees or Nearly the width of a fist held at arms length right and below the much brighter Venus. Mars is in the morning sky and will rise in the east-southeast at 5:10 a.m. It’s not very bright because it’s 211 million (339million km) miles away, but it’s getting slowly closer to the Earth. Mercury is now too close to the Sun to be seen in the morning.
The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.
Venus and Saturn ...