March 4, 2022: Two mornings, before their second conjunction of three, brilliant Venus and Mars, are in the southeast before sunrise. The thin evening moon is visible in the west-southwest after sunset.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:21 a.m. CST; Sunset, 5:45 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
In two mornings, brilliant Venus passes Mars. Today at 45 minutes before sunrise, Morning star Venus is about 15° above the southeast horizon. The Red Planet is 4.7° to the lower right of the brilliant planet.
A binocular may be necessary to be sure that you are seeing Mars. Both planets fit into a binocular field of view.
A thin crescent moon is visible in the west-southwest after sunset. The lunar slice is over 16° above the west-southwest horizon at 45 minutes after sunset. The phase is slim, only 6% illuminated. The moon is among the dim stars of Cetus, the Sea Monster.
Use a binocular to see earthshine on the moon. This is reflected sunlight from Earth’s oceans, clouds, and land that gently illuminates the night portion of the lunarscape.
- 2023, October 23: Venus at Greatest ElongationOctober 23, 2023: Venus moves to its farthest angular distance from the sun today, known as greatest elongation. During morning twilight, the Morning Star passes Leo’s Chertan.
- 2023, October 22: Moon Approaches SaturnOctober 22, 2023: During evening hours, the gibbous moon nears Saturn in the southern sky. Venus and Jupiter are visible during morning twilight.
- 2023, October 21: Three Bright Planets, First Quarter MoonOctober 21, 2023: Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn are easy to locate during nighttime hours. The First Quarter moon phase occurs this evening.
- 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.