2022, March 26: Imminent Rare Planet Bunch


March 26, 2022: Three bright morning planets Venus, Mars, and Saturn bunch in the east-southeast before sunrise.  The crescent moon is nearby.

Chart Caption – 2022, March 26: Venus and Mars close in on Saturn in the east-southeast before sunup. The crescent moon is nearby.


by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Chicago, Illinois:  Sunrise, 6:44 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 7:10 p.m. CDT.  Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.

Morning Sky


In two mornings, Venus, Saturn, and Mars cluster in a circle 5.3° across.  This is a rare grouping of this planetary triplet that does not occur again until 2040.  Venus passes Saturn the next morning (March 29) and Mars passes the Ringed Wonder about a week later.

The next Venus – Saturn conjunction occurs January 22, 2023, in the western sky after sunset.  Mars passes Saturn again on April 10, 2024 in the east-southeast before sunrise.

This morning, crescent moon, 36% illuminated, and the morning planets Venus, Mars, and Saturn are moving closer together in the southeastern sky before sunrise.

Forty-five minutes before sunup, the crescent moon is nearly 15° up in the south-southeast.  Brilliant Morning Star Venus is nearly 30° to the lower left of the lunar crescent and about 12° above the east-southeast horizon. Dimmer Mars is 4.9° to the lower right of Venus. 

Saturn is the short-term target of Venus and Mars.  The Ringed wonder, over 8° above the horizon, is 3.2° to the lower left of Venus and 6.3° to the lower left of Mars.

Chart Caption – 2022, March 26: Venus, Mars, and Saturn appear in the same binocular field of view.

Through a binocular, the planet triplet easily fits into the same field of view.  They appear together in a binocular until April 4, when Venus steps out of the same field with Mars and Saturn.

During the next few mornings, watch this planet dance continue in the eastern sky.  Tomorrow, the moon is closer to the three planets and it joins them on the closest morning.  The lunar crescent may fit into some binoculars with the planets.



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