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Planets, Comets, and Meteors


Planets

Check the Observatory's Sky Report for a weekly summary of where the planets are in the sky over Los Angeles.

For a chart showing the planets currently visible in the sky, check here. Note you can change the time and other settings to customize the chart. Times are in Universal Time (subtract 8 hours to convert from Universal Time to Pacific Standard Time).

This simple table for planispheres lists the constellation in which each naked-eye planet – Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn – is located month-by-month through the year 2035.

Rare Mutual Occultations and Eclipses of Jupiters moon's, a list of the best of these events from 2015, can be found on this page. These events occur for only a few months every six years and are intriguing to watch through telescopes of all sizes.

Comets

Comet PanSTARRS C/2013 X1 is visible during evening hours in July, 2016. A finder chart is available here.

Comet LINEAR 252/P was visible during early morning hours in April, 2016. For more information click here.

Comet Lovejoy C/2014 Q2 was visible during evening hours in January, 2015. For more information click here.

Comet Lovejoy C/2013 R1 was visible before dawn in December, 2013. For more information click here.

Comet ISON skimmed the sun’s surface in late November, 2013. For more information click here.

Comet Lemmon C/2012 F6 was visible in May, 2013. For more information click here.

Comet PANSTARRS was visible in March, 2013. For more information click here.

Comet Panstarrs

Comet PANSTARRS C/2011 L4, imaged from the San Gabriel Mountains (near Mt. Wilson) between 4:30 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. on April 19, 2013. The picture shows the comet’s broad, fanlike dust tail spreading for several million miles away from the sun.

Multiple guided exposures were combined, resulting in an exposure of 4 minutes, 30 seconds. A Canon 20Da was used at ISO 1200 through a 5.5-inch diameter f/3.5 Celestron Comet-Catcher Schmidt-Newtonian telescope. (Image by Anthony Cook, Griffith Observatory).


For information on comets that may presently be visible to amateur astronomers go to:

Astrosite Groningen at: http://www.shopplaza.nl/astro/home.htm

Weekly Information on Bright Comets at: http://www.aerith.net/comet/weekly/current.html

Sky & Telescope news headlines at: http://SkyandTelescope.com/news/current

Meteors and Meteor Showers

Meteor Showers prospects for
southern California for the year

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

For more information about meteors:

American Meteor Society, LTD: The pioneering meteor astronomer, Charles P. Olivier, started the American Meteor Society, LTD., in 1911. The AMS is highly recommended for the beginning meteor observer.

The International Meteor Organization: Founded in 1988, the International Meteor Organization provides detailed meteor forecast, observing information and meteor shower reports. It conducts extensive worldwide visual, photographic, video, and radio observing programs. The IMO is recommended for advanced meteor observers.