This is the companion Web Site of Bob Moler's Ephemeris radio program, which is broadcast Monday Through Friday on Interlochen Public Radio Stations. Interlochen Public Radio serves northwestern lower Michigan. The first Ephemeris program was broadcast June 1, 1975.

Click on the above link for live streaming audio from IPR.

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Bob Moler's Ephemeris Blog contains transcripts and illustrations from the Ephemeris programs. They are generally released at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time on the program play date.

NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador


Contact me at the email address at the bottom of this page to discuss star parties and presentations for schools, scout groups, and non-profit organizations.


That being said, opinions expressed on this website are my own and not that of NASA or JPL

Ephemeris Radio Schedule Monday - Friday

Ephemeris air times (ET)

6:19 a.m. - News stations

6:59 a.m.- Classical stations

The Stations of Interlochen Public Radio


WIAA 88.7 FM Interlochen
94.7 FM Traverse City

WIAB 88.5 FM Mackinaw City


WICA 91.5, FM Traverse City

WLNM 89.7 FM Manistee

WHBP 90.1 FM Harbor Springs, Petoskey

Observing Weather in Northwestern Lower Michigan

Clear Sky Chart from Attilla Danko
NWS Traverse City Forecast.
Gaylord, MI Weather Radar.
Satellite Infrared Loop.
Canadian based Infrared Satellite (Michigan shows best in the Eastern Canada view)
GOES-East - Sector Views: Great Lakes - GeoColor

On this site – articles of interest for this month

Ladies of the Night

Ladies of the Night II

The Celestial River

O'Ryan the Irish Constellation

The Dog Nights of Winter

Auriga the Charioteer

Taurus: Bullish on Winter

Winter Circle

Gemini: The Twins?

VIN: Very Important Nebulae

December 2018

Interested in learning more? If you live in northwestern lower Michigan check out the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society.

More information on visible planetary and other events are available on Bob Moler's Ephemeris Blog the day of the event. The blog contains Monday-Friday program transcripts, most with illustrations and additional information.

New Links: I dug through the IPR web archives and found these:

Bob Moler looks back at 40 years of 'Ephemeris'

I’m interviewed about all things astronomical prior to the August 21, 2017 eclipse. Photo, text, and audio.

Extra! My report on the Great American Eclipse. New: Added animated GIF of the sky at the totally eclipsed Sun, watching the shadow pass over.

Highlights for December 2018 (ET)

     Date     Local   Event
Dec  1 Sa          Venus: 39.9° W
     3 Mo 01:42 pm Moon-Venus: 3.8° S
     7 Fr 02:20 am New Moon
     9 Su 12:30 am Moon-Saturn: 1.2° S
     9 Su 06:12 am Moon South Dec.: 21.5° S
    10 Mo 12:57 pm Moon Descending Node
    12 We 07:25 am Moon Apogee: 405200 km
    14 Fr 07:16 am Geminid Meteor Shower: ZHR = 120
    14 Fr 06:21 pm Moon-Mars: 3.9° N
    15 Sa 05:59 am Mercury Elongation: 21.3° W
    15 Sa 06:49 am First Quarter
    15 Sa       pm Comet 46P/Wirtanen passing the Pleiades
    16 Su       pm Comet 46P/Wirtanen passing the Pleiades
    21 Fr 02:31 am Moon-Aldebaran: 1.7° S
    21 Fr 02:49 pm Mercury-Jupiter: 0.8° N
    21 Fr 05:22 pm Winter Solstice
    22 Sa 03:03 am Mercury-Antares: 6° N
    22 Sa 10:08 am Jupiter-Antares: 5.2° N
    22 Sa 12:49 pm Full Moon
    22 Sa 04:00 pm Ursid Meteor Shower: ZHR = 10
    23 Su 06:48 am Moon North Dec.: 21.6° N
    23          pm Comet 46P/Wirtanen closest to Capella
    24 Mo 04:52 am Moon Perigee: 361100 km
    24 Mo 06:54 am Moon Ascending Node
    24 Mo 11:52 pm Moon-Beehive: 0.6° N
    26 We 11:06 am Moon-Regulus: 2.5° S
    29 Sa 04:34 am Last Quarter
Jan  1 Su          Venus: 46.9° W

NASA - SKYCAL - Sky Events Calendar by Fred Espenak and Sumit Dutta (NASA's GSFC) (with occasional annotations and additions)

Active Planetary Space Missions

We have a new location for information on planetary space missions. It's here at the Planetary Society. The chart is created by Olaf Frohn, and is updated every month.

Free Software

Stellarium is a fabulous planetarium program with a very realistic sky and simple controls.

They've added some features in the latest version (0.18.2) and and a new rendering engine that may not be compatible with computers more than a year or two old without using command line options. See the Stellarium User Guide (pdf) under Command Line Options for options to try. My older laptop requires -a.

There’s also a web based version of Stellarium. It’s pretty much bare bones, but works much like the computer version. It’s located here:

Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts) is a great telescope companion. It can be downloaded from

Virtual Moon Atlas is a great tool for reference at the telescope or desk.

Celestia is a great 3D simulator of solar system objects and beyond.

Hallo Northern Sky is an interesting planetarium program. It seems not as polished as Stellarium, but has some cool features. I use it when planning star parties as a quick way to see what would be visible because it loads quickly

Years on the air: 43

Years on the Internet: 23


Updated: 12/01/18