2
$\begingroup$

How can i find the location of the sun and which constellation it would occupy based on the location and date of year.

for example: an observer is in Des Moines, Iowa on April 10th, which constellation does the sun appear to occupy?

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

You can see for yourself for any date and location using the free Stellarium program (http://stellarium.org/).

The constellation that the Sun is in as seen from Earth does not depend noticeably on the precise location of the observer on Earth. It depends mostly on the time of year. Here are the approximate days of the year at which the Sun enters a new constellation:

  • Aries: April 18
  • Taurus: May 14
  • Gemini: June 21
  • Cancer: July 20
  • Leo: August 10
  • Virgo: September 16
  • Libra: October 31
  • Scorpius: November 23
  • Ophiuchus: November 29
  • Sagittarius: December 17
  • Capricornus: January 19
  • Aquarius: February 16
  • Pisces: March 12

The "approximate" part is that the Sun may be up to one day earlier or later than the quoted dates, just like the start of the seasons may be one day earlier or later than the average. (Actually, it is the calendar that is early or late with respect to the phenomenon.) Also, because of the precession of the equinoxes, these dates shift by about 1 day every 70 years.

See http://aa.quae.nl/en/antwoorden/sterrenbeelden.html#6.

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

There are a few ways to do this, but I would recommend a decent star chart or software that allows you to set a specific date/time and location. There are a couple of really good software programs that offer WAY more than a Zodiacal reference, and that are free.

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ can you provide the name of any of the software? $\endgroup$ – Steven McDermott Oct 10 '15 at 0:44
  • $\begingroup$ I use Stellarium. It's free, easy to use and very robust. It will take you a bit to poke through it all. stellarium.org $\endgroup$ – AstronomyCat Oct 12 '15 at 17:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.