October 22 Photos:
Bright Mars is visible in the western sky before sunrise. Brilliant Venus makes its last appearance in Leo for this morning apparition. In the evening sky, the crescent moon is near Jupiter and Saturn, while bright Mars begins the night in the east-southeast.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 7:12 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 5:58 p.m. CDT. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times in different locations.
Morning: Bright Mars dims slightly compared to its brightest nights over two weeks ago. The planet is in the western sky about 90 minutes before sunrise. It appears lower as Venus rises in the east. This is the last morning for Venus in front of the stars of Leo. Use a binocular to spot it among a dimmer starfield. Tomorrow it moves into Virgo.
Detailed morning note: Mars (m = −2.4) is about 7° up in the west, ninety minutes before sunrise. Mars is in the evening sky after sunset this evening. As twilight progresses, look for Venus over 20° up in the east-southeast. In the starfield, it is 2.3° to the lower left of Tau Leonis (τ Leo) to the right of Nu Virginis (ν Vir), and 4.2° above Beta Virginis (β Vir). Tomorrow morning, Venus appears in Virgo.
Evening: Bright Mars is well up in the eastern sky this evening in front of the stars of Pisces. A binocular is helpful to observe the Red Planet against the distant starry background. The thick crescent moon is in the south-southwest near Jupiter and Saturn. It is to the lower left of Jupiter and lower right of Saturn.
Detailed evening note:One hour after sunset, the thick crescent moon (6.2 days after the New moon phase, 44% illuminated), 23° up in the south, makes a nice triangle with Jupiter and Saturn (m = 0.6). The crescent is 4.4° to the lower left of Jupiter and 4.2° to the lower right of Saturn. The Jupiter – Saturn gap is 5.9°. In the starfield, Jupiter is 3.8° to the lower left of Pi Sagittarii (π Sgr) and 0.7° below 50 Sagittarii (50 Sgr). Saturn is 1.8° to the lower left of 56 Sagittarii (56 Sgr). At this hour, Mars is nearly 15° up in the east. About an hour later when it is higher in the sky (26° altitude), use a binocular to spot the Red Planet 0.9° below 80 Piscium (80 Psc).
December 30, 2021: The morning crescent moon seems to be captured in the Scorpion’s pincers to the upper right of Mars. Four Evening Planets – Venus, Mercury, Saturn, and Jupiter – are in the southwest after sundown.
December 28, 2021: The Great Andromeda Galaxy is nearly overhead at the end of the evening twilight.
December 29, 2021: The morning crescent moon approaches Scorpius and Mars. In the evening sky, four evening planets – Venus, Mercury, Saturn, and Jupiter – are lined up in the southwest. Venus is rapidly leaving the evening sky.
November 28, 2021: During twilight this evening, the three bright evening planets – Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter – are on parade in the southwestern sky.
December 28, 2021: Brilliant Venus is quickly slipping from the evening sky. Mercury appears beneath Venus after sunset. This duo is joined by Jupiter and Saturn. In the morning, Mars is near Antares and the moon near Spica.