2020, May 7: Morning Planets Jupiter, Saturn and Mars

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This morning Jupiter, Saturn and Mars span nearly 29°. The Jupiter – Saturn gap is 4.7°.

This morning three bright planets are in the morning sky. Bright Jupiter is in the south-southeast. Dimmer Saturn is 4.7° to the left of Jupiter. Mars is in the southeast.

While the planets appear higher in the sky each morning at the same time, they are moving eastward compared to the starry background.

On May 10, Saturn appears to stop moving eastward and it begins to move westward compared to the stars. This morning, it is in western Capricornus, 1.1° to the lower right of a comparison, star Sigma Capricorni (σ Cap). This star and other background stars are labelled on the image.

Jupiter begins to retrograde May 14. This morning it is 2.5° to the lower left of 56 Sagittarii (56 Sgr).

To see σ Cap and 56 Sgr, use a binocular. Click the image to enlarge it to see these background stars.

On May 18, the two planets have a quasi-conjunction. The Great Conjunction occurs on December 21, 2020, but this month, Jupiter and Saturn close to within 5°. This morning they are less than 5°, but closest on May 18.

Mars is nearly 29° east of Jupiter, among the stars in eastern Capricornus. This morning, Mars is 2.3° to the left of Delta Capricorni (δ Cap). It continues to move eastward. Its retrograde begins September 9. It moves a considerable distance eastward until then.

Read more about May’s morning planets here.

For our daily semi-technical description of May’s planet events, click here.



Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

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