January 30, 2022: Morning Star Venus’ retrograde in the east-southeast before sunrise. Venus joins Mars in the morning sky. Jupiter is the lone bright planet in the evening sky.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 7:05 a.m. CST; Sunset, 5:03 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Two bright planets are in the southeastern morning sky before sunrise – Venus and Mars.
With Venus in the morning sky, quick movement of the Morning Star and Mars sets up an intricate planet dance.
This morning Venus ends its retrograde motion. The planet has quickly moved from east of the sun to the west. Overtaking the slower moving Earth, Venus travelled between Earth and the sun on January 8.
Today, the planet appears to stop moving westward along the plane of the solar system – the ecliptic – and resumes its eastward direction.
While the planet picks up eastward speed, Mars passes by for the second conjunction of a triple conjunction on February 16.
This morning at 45 minutes before sunup, the brilliant planet is over 13° above the southeastern horizon. Dimmer Mars is 9.9° to the lower right of Venus.
The Red Planet is marching eastward in Sagittarius. In three mornings, it passes above the top of the lid of the Teapot, Kaus Borealis (λ Sgr on the chart).
Mercury is beginning to enter the morning sky. It is too low and dim to easily find it at this hour.
In the evening sky, bright Jupiter is the lone bright planet. At forty-five minutes after sundown, the Jovian Giant is less than 15° above the west-southwest horizon.
Sirius is farther east, about 10° up in the east-southeast. Likely it is wildly twinkling. The atmosphere near the horizon breaks the light into the colors of the rainbow and makes the starlight flicker. The effect is very noticeable through a binocular.
Two evenings ago, Sirius rose at sundown. The stars rise about 4 minutes earlier each evening. In a week or so, you’ll notice that it is higher in the sky at this hour.
July 26, 2022: The crescent moon makes a spectacular artistic display with Venus before sunrise. Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn arc across the sky above Venus. Draco is in the north after twilight ends.Keep reading
July 25, 2022: The thin crescent moon is nearly caught between the Bull’s horns before daybreak. The four bright planets – Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn – nearly span the sky before daybreak.Keep reading