Posted by Graham Relf at 08:26 on 2010 Aug 28
A new applet on the Computing Section’s web site shows the visibility of the planets in relation to Sun and Moon, for any latitude and time: http://britastro.org/computing/applets_planets.htmlIf you play with the latitude setting you can easily see why, at the moment, Venus, Mars and Saturn are visible from Australia but not at all from the UK (54 degrees N).Another immediately obvious fact is the proximity of Jupiter and Uranus as they approach opposition. I think they present an interesting telescopic photography challenge in mid-September and even better early in January 2011. In Handbook 2010 try drawing positions from Jupiter’s ephemeris, from now onwards, on the diagram of Uranus’ path.I have constructed the applet’s chart in a novel format which I find useful for my observing. I hope others will too. Suggestions for enhancements are welcome. I am already considering an "Add object" button where you could enter orbital elements for a minor planet or comet and see it plotted (if it lies within 30 degrees of the equator).