Brilliant Venus, Saturn and Mercury shine in a clear sky this morning in this image made at 6:10 a.m. CST from the Chicago area. (Click the image to see it larger.) Venus is the brightest starlike object in the sky and it dominates this part of the sky with few bright stars. Elusive Mercury shines from near the horizon during early twilight, about 6 degrees to the lower left of Venus. Saturn appears 17 degrees to the upper right of Venus with dimmer stars Zubenelgenubi and Zubeneschamali (Libra) between the planets. The star Spica (Virgo) appears beyond Saturn about 30 degrees from Venus.
Venus rises before twilight, although it is moving toward the far side of the sun and it gradually rises during early morning twilight until it disappears into the sun’s glare to reappear in the evening sky in Spring 2013.