Planet transit times 2006

Small part of transit time chart showing transit time for Jupiter in March 2006

A rough and ready way of using the charts to find a planet in the sky is as follows…

Transit time

The circle that runs through the zenith and the point on your horizon that is due south of your position is called your Meridian. The time at which a star or planet crosses the Meridian in the south is called the transit time for that star. The transit time chart tells you the transit times for the planets and the Sun for 2006. Starts (and planets) rise in the East and set in the West, and knowing the transit time for a planet can tell you roughly where to look for it at any given time.

In the example shown in the diagram above, the transit time for Jupiter around the beginning of March 2006 is 0430 local time or 7.5 hours before the Sun transits. This means that Jupiter will rise 7.5 hours before the Sun as well, and will be visible over most of the late evening or early hours of the morning.

Suppose you are out at Midnight (ignore daylight saving time if it is the Summer). Jupiter will be 4:30 hours or about 67.5 degrees before or East of due South, on a bearing of very roughly 102 degrees from local North.


The declination chart allows you to read off the declination or celestial latitude of the planet. In the case of Jupiter for day 60 (beginning of March) the declination is 16 degrees South, so Jupiter is 16 degrees below the celestial equator. This means that Jupiter will be low in the sky and may not have risen at midnight.

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