March 1, 2022: Venus and Mars are in an eastward footrace leading up to their conjunction on March 6, 2022. Later in the month three planets and the moon bunch together.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:26 a.m. CST; Sunset, 5:41 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Five days before their third conjunction in a triple conjunction series, brilliant Venus and Mars shine from the southeast before sunrise. The planet duo is racing eastward along the ecliptic. Mars had a slight head start after Venus ended its retrograde on January 30. About a week later, Mars marched passed a slow-moving Venus. During February, Venus slowly picked up speed and it is now overtaking the Red Planet.
The triple conjunction started last summer when Venus passed Mars while they were in the western sky. Mars disappeared behind the sun on October 7 and slowly crawled into the morning sky.
Venus completed its evening appearance and passed between Earth and Sun on January 8, zipping into the morning sky to join the Red Planet.
Venus – Mars conjunctions occur again February 22, 2024, and January 7, 2026, although this occurs when the planets appear very close to the sun. Another triple conjunction series begins November 24, 2027, concluding with the third conjunction on September 8, 2028.
Saturn is slowly moving into the morning sky. This morning it rises 50 minutes before the sun. The Ringed Wonder is not yet appearing a dark sky to be easily visible. Mercury is leaving the morning sky for its best evening appearance of the year. Tomorrow morning, Mercury passes 0.7° from Saturn, but the pair is very low in growing twilight. Jupiter is moving toward the morning sky, but it is still east of the sun, setting 11 minutes after sundown.
Other March Events
This month’s moon phases:
|New||March 2||11:35 a.m. CST|
|First Quarter||March 10||4:45 p.m. CST|
|Full||March 18||2:18 p.m. CDT|
|Last Quarter||March 25||12:37 a.m. CDT|
Jupiter is at its solar conjunction on March 5 and slowly enters the morning sky.
Daylight Saving Time begins March 13.
Saturn enters the morning sky later in the month.
March 28, the moon joins Venus, Mars, and Saturn before sunrise. This is a rare grouping.
- 2023, December 26: Cold Moon, Venus, Jupiter, SaturnDecember 26, 2023: The Cold Moon is visible during the nighttime hours. Venus shines before sunrise while Jupiter and Saturn are visible after sundown.
- 2023, December 25: Telescope First Light, Bright PlanetsDecember 25, 2023: For sky watchers with new telescopes, here’s what to look at before dawn or after sunset.
- 2023, December 24: Morning Moon, Pleiades, Antares Heliacal RisingDecember 24, 2023: The moon appears near the Pleiades star cluster during the earlier morning hours. Antares is at its first morning appearance, known as the heliacal rising.
- 2023, December 23: Check out Planet Uranus, Pleiades near MoonDecember 23, 2023: Look for the planet Uranus and the Pleiades star cluster through a binocular during nighttime hours.
- 2023, December 22: Mercury at Inferior Conjunction, Bright Jupiter, Gibbous MoonDecember 22, 2023: Mercury is between Earth and Sun, known as inferior conjunction. Jupiter and the gibbous moon are celestial companions during nighttime hours.