2022, January 29: Venus, Mars, Lunar Crescent

January 29, 2022:  Morning Star Venus, Mars, and the lunar crescent are loosely grouped together in the southeastern sky before sunrise.  Mercury is slowly entering the morning sky.  Bright Jupiter is lone bright planet in the evening sky, setting about two hours after sundown.

2022, January 29: Venus, Mars, and the crescent moon in the southeast before sunrise.
Photo caption – 2022, January 29: Venus, Mars, and the crescent moon in the southeast before sunrise.

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by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Chicago, Illinois:  Sunrise, 7:06 a.m. CST; Sunset, 5:02 p.m. CST.  Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.

Morning Sky

Venus makes its first morning grouping with the crescent moon during this morning apparition. Forty-five minutes before sunup, the planet is over 12° up in the southeast.  It is striking in appearance because of its brightness.

Venus is 10.4° to the upper left of Mars and 13.5° to the upper left of the moon.  The moon is only 10% illuminated, a good candidate for a photograph to display its earthshine – reflected sunlight from Earth’s oceans, clouds, and land. The lunar slice is 3.3° to the lower right of the Red Planet.

Mercury rises about an hour before sunrise. Fifteen minutes later, it is just above the east-southeastern horizon and too dim to be found easily. As the blush of morning twilight brightens, the planet is overwhelmed by the light of approaching sunrise.  In a few mornings find it to the lower left of Venus and near the horizon with a binocular.

Tomorrow the moon is just above the southeastern horizon at 30 minutes before sunup, 13.1° below the brilliant Morning Star.

Evening Sky

2022, January 29: Bright Jupiter is in the southwestern sky after sunset. Fomalhaut is to Jupiter’s lower left and near the horizon.
Chart Caption – 2022, January 29: Bright Jupiter is in the southwestern sky after sunset. Fomalhaut is to Jupiter’s lower left and near the horizon.

Jupiter is the lone bright planet in the evening sky.  Forty-five minutes after sunset, it is 15° up in the sky above the west-southwest horizon.  The Jovian Giant sets over two hours after sunset.  Spot it before it is too low in the sky.

Saturn is not visible in the evening sky.  It sets about 30 minutes after sundown, during bright twilight.  It passes behind the sun on February 4 and begins a slow climb into the morning sky, joining Venus and Mars.

The star Fomalhaut is near the horizon, and over 20° to the lower left of Jupiter.  This may be the last evening to find the star low in the southwest.

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