January 17, 2022: Morning Star Venus joins Mars in the southeastern sky before sunrise. Bright Jupiter and Saturn are in the southwest during the evening’s early hours. Look for the moon near the star Pollux.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 7:15 a.m. CST; Sunset, 4:47 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Venus becomes easier to see each morning in the east-southeast before sunrise. It joins Mars as a morning planet. At about 45 minutes before sunrise, the brilliant Morning Star is nearly 5° above the horizon.
Dimmer Mars, moving eastward in Ophiuchus is 20.1° to the upper right of Venus. The star Antares – the heart of the Scorpion – is 15.4° to the upper right of the Red Planet.
Each morning at about this time interval before sunrise, watch Venus appear higher in the sky and closer to Mars.
As Venus moves into the morning sky, it is retrograding, moving westward compared to the stars. The planet resumes its eastward motion on January 30.
Farther westward, the bright moon is very low in the west-northwest.
In the evening sky, bright Jupiter is easily found over 20° above the southwest horizon at 45 minutes after sunset. The planet sets over three hours after sunset.
At this hour, Saturn is over 20° to the lower right of the bright planet. It is about 6° above the west-southwest horizon. The Ringed Wonder disappears into brighter twilight during the next few evenings. This evening it sets 90 minutes after sunset.
Diligent observers may find Mercury very low in the sky and near the horizon with a very clear, unobstructed horizon and a telescope, to the lower right of Saturn.
Mercury passes between Earth and the sun on January 23.
Farther eastward, the bright moon is low in the sky, below the star Pollux.
- 2023, October 20: Jupiter’s Double Shadows, Mercury at Superior ConjunctionOctober 20: After midnight, Jupiter’s moons’ shadows dance across the cloud tops. Mercury is at superior conjunction.
- 2023, October 19: Poured Moon, See Planet UranusOctober 19: Sagittarius seems to pour the moon into the sky this evening. Find Uranus with a binocular.
- 2023, October 18: Moon-Antares Conjunction, Bright PlanetsOctober 18, 2023: The moon is near Antares after sunset. Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn are in the sky during the nighttime hours.
- 2023, October 17: Scorpion MoonOctober 17, 2023: The crescent moon is with Scorpius during evening twilight. Venus and Jupiter gleam from the predawn sky.
- 2023, October 16: Venus in Starry ConjunctionOctober 16, 2023: Venus passes a star in Leo before sunrise. A crescent moon is low in the western sky during evening twilight.