2020, May 27: Morning Planets Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars Shine Brightly

2020, May 27: Jupiter and Saturn are 4.7° apart in the southern sky. Mars is farther eastward, over 40° from Jupiter, in the southeast sky.


by Jeffrey L. Hunt

This morning bright Jupiter shines from about one-third of the way up in the southern sky. It is to the right of Saturn. Both planets are retrograding – an illusion that occurs each year as our faster moving planet approaches and moves between the planets and the sun (opposition). Earth passes between both planets and the sun during July.

After opposition, the Jupiter and Saturn continue to retrograde. When they resume their eastward motion during September. Jupiter passes Saturn on December 21, 2020, for what is known as a Great Conjunction. Such events occur every 20 years.

Farther east, Mars shines among the stars of Aquarius, in the southeast. It is marching eastward among the stars. The Red Planet is over 40° from Jupiter. Mars is at opposition on October 13, 2020. As our planet approaches Mars, the planet increases in brightness.

Next month, Venus joins this planetary trio.

For more details about the morning planets, read more here.

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

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