by Jeffrey L. Hunt
This morning, the gibbous moon (overexposed in the image), 19.6 days past the New phase and 68% illuminated, is about one-third of the way up in the sky in the south-southeast. It is passing the morning planets. Today it is between Saturn and Mars.
The Red Planet is in the southeast. It is moving eastward among the stars. Earth catches and passes the planet on October 13, 2020. As this occurs Mars brightens in our sky.
Tomorrow the moon is closer to Mars. The gap from Mars to Jupiter is about 54° and widening each morning.
Jupiter and Saturn are in the south at this time. Both planets are retrograding – moving westward compared to the starry background. They continue to retrograde until September. Until then, the gap between these two giant planets grows. Earth passes between Jupiter and the sun (July 14), and Saturn and the sun (July 20) next month.
Jupiter passes Saturn on December 21, 2020, for what is known as a Great Conjunction. Such events occur about every 20 years.
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.