by Jeffrey L. Hunt
This morning, the bright gibbous moon (overexposed in the image), 16.6 days past the New phase and 92% illuminated, is 5.8° to the lower right of Jupiter. The Giant Planet is 5.0° to the right of Saturn.
Both planets are retrograding – moving west compared to the starry background. Earth passes between them next month.
Both planets begin moving eastward against the sidereal background during September, and Jupiter closes the gap in the Ringed Wonder. Jupiter passes Saturn on December 21, 2020, for what is known as a Great Conjunction. Such events occur every 20 years.
Tomorrow the moon is to the lower left of Saturn.
Meanwhile, Mars is over 50° to the east of Jupiter. The Red Planet is nearly one-third of the way up in the southeastern sky from the horizon to overhead (zenith.)
After its inferior conjunction on June 3, Venus moves into the morning sky later this month, joining this planetary trio.
Follow the planets in the sky during June.