March 7, 2022: After yesterday’s conjunction, Venus continues to close in on Mars. The crescent moon is near the Pleiades star cluster after sundown.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:16 a.m. CST; Sunset, 5:48 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Brilliant Venus is nearly 15° above the southeast horizon at 45 minutes before sunup. Mars is 4.4° to the lower right of Earth’s Twin planet. The Red Planet is over 10° above the horizon. Use a binocular to initially locate Mars. Both planets fit into the same field of view.
Yesterday, Venus passed Mars in the third conjunction of a triple conjunction series. Venus is moving closer to the plane of the solar system and to Mars. On March 16, Venus closes to 3.9° of the Red Planet for a close approach or minimum separation. There is no conjunction. Venus is east of Mars and they do not have the same celestial longitude.
This morning Venus steps into Capricornus. Mars marched into the constellation yesterday.
The crescent moon, 27% illuminated is over halfway up in the west-southwest after sundown. Notice the Pleiades star cluster, about 11° above the lunar slice.
Aldebaran, the brightest star in Taurus, is over 20° to the upper left of the crescent.
Tomorrow evening, the moon and the Pleiades fit into the same binocular field.
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- 2023, December 18: Pinched VenusDecember 18, 2023: Look for Venus between the Scorpion’s claws in the southeast before sunrise. The thick crescent moon is in the evening sky with Jupiter and Saturn.
- 2023, December 17: Celestial PairsDecember 17, 2023: Before sunrise, Venus passes Zubenelgenubi, a planet-star conjunction. After sundown, Saturn and crescent moon are paired, a planet-moon conjunction.
- 2023, December 16: Venus Clawed, Evening Crescent Nears SaturnDecember 16, 2023: Before daybreak, Venus is above the Scorpion’s southern claw. After nightfall, the crescent moon nears Saturn.