2021, May 3: Moon Meets Saturn, Jupiter

May 3, 2021:  The slightly gibbous moon is near Saturn this morning before sunrise.  The lunar orb is 6.8° to the lower right of the Ringed Wonder.  Jupiter is to the lower left of Saturn.

2021, May 3: One hour before sunrise, the slightly gibbous moon is 6.8° to the lower right of Saturn. Bright Jupiter is to the lower left of Saturn.
Chart Caption – 2021, May 3: One hour before sunrise, the slightly gibbous moon is 6.8° to the lower right of Saturn. Bright Jupiter is to the lower left of Saturn.

by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Chicago, Illinois:  Sunrise, 5:44 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 7:52 p.m. CDT.  Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.

During a 24-hour interval, five planets and the moon are visible.  This morning the slightly gibbous moon is a guide to the morning planets, Jupiter and Saturn. (The moon reaches its Last Quarter phase later today, 2:50 p.m. CDT.)

Venus, Mercury, and Mars are visible in the western sky after sunset.

An hour before sunrise, the lunar orb is over 18° above the south-southeast horizon.  Two bright “stars” are to the moon’s upper left.

Saturn is the one closer to the moon, 6.8° to the moon’s upper left.

Brighter Jupiter is 15.5° to the lower left of Saturn.

Detailed Note: One hour before sunrise, the moon (21.3d, 54%) is over 18° above the south-southeast horizon. The lunar slice is 6.8° to the lower right of Saturn.  Bright Jupiter is 15.5° to the lower left of Saturn.  In the starfield, Saturn is 0.9° to the right of θ Cap, while Jupiter is 1.3° above ι Aqr.  The moon is at its Last Quarter phase at 2:50 p.m. CDT.  Twenty minutes after sunset, Venus is nearly 5° above the west-northwest horizon.  Have you observed it without a binocular?  Mercury (m = −0.9) is 6.4° to the upper left of Venus. This might be the last evening to see Rigel, “Orion’s left knee,” (β Ori, m = 0.2), without optical assistance near the horizon about 40 minutes after sunset. Forty-five minutes after sunset, Mercury is nearly 7° up in the west-northwest, 2.1° to the lower left of η Tau. Fifteen minutes later, Mercury is only 4° above the horizon.  Mars is over 36° to the upper left of Mercury and below the Gemini Twins, Castor and Pollux.  In the starfield, Mars is 2.4° to the upper right of μ Gem and 3.0° to the lower right of ε Gem.

Read more about the planets during May 2021.

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