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My most convenient viewing location is my backyard. It also has an obstructed view of the sky - trees. This means that just knowing the rise and set times of a planet does not let me know when, or if, I can view a planet at my location.

For example, let us say I look up my favorite planet, Saturn, and discover that it will rise at 9pm and sets at 4am. The rise time will give me when it clears the horizon.

This does not give me the information I need to know. I need to know the degrees above the horizon it is at its zenith and at what time it will reach its meridian passage. This tells me if the planet will rise higher than my obstruction. The planet needs to rise higher than the red line in my graphic for me to see it.

I have been trying to find a chart, either in book form or online, that includes the degrees above the horizon that a planet will culminate. Does anyone know of such a resource?

Backyard

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    $\begingroup$ You can create custom horizons in Stellarium, but I've never done it. $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Aug 24 '21 at 20:16
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I don't know of a chart in a book or online, but I know of some other options:

  • Nightshift (Android app) will give you transit times and show you graphs.
  • SkEye (Android app) will show you graphs.
  • Heavens Above's Planet Summary will show you transit times and altitude in degrees for any given time and location (set location at top right of page).
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    $\begingroup$ Heavens Above Planet Summary ended up giving me the information I needed. Thank you. $\endgroup$
    – Bookaholic
    Aug 25 '21 at 15:30
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You won't find a reference that tells you the altitude of an object when it passes your meridian. That altitude depends on your latitude. Saturn for all this year is near 18 degrees south declination, so if you're at 39 degrees north latitude, for example, it will be 90 - 18 - 39 or about 33 degrees above the horizon at its highest altitude, every day. For the time of its meridian passage, when it's due north or south of you, you'll be approximately correct half way between rise and set time. If you need a more precise time and altitude, you can find the exact declination and the time of meridian passage from an almanac. Today Saturn's meridian passage is 2231, and its declination is S 18 degrees 54 minutes, per the Nautical Almanac. You will need to adjust almanac time for your longitude and daylight saving time to find the equivalent local civil time.

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