March 29, 2022: This morning is a Venus – Saturn Conjunction. They are 2.1° apart. Mars is nearby.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:41 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 7:15 p.m. CDT. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Venus passes 2.1° to the upper left of Saturn this morning. The brilliant Morning Star is about 100 times brighter than the Ringed Wonder and nearly 15 times closer.
This morning, Venus is 11.0° above the east-southeast horizon at forty-five minutes before sunup. Dimmer Saturn is to the lower right of Venus. Mars is 5.5° to the right of Venus and 4.6° to the upper right of Saturn.
After yesterday’s close bunching of the three planets, they still fit within a binocular field.
Venus is stepping eastward at over 1° each morning. It entered the morning sky after its inferior conjunction, between Earth and Sun, during early January. It quickly appeared in the sky near Mars. Venus stopped retrograding on January 30.
Mars, marching eastward, passed Venus on February 16. As Venus picked up speed, it passed Mars again on March 6 for the third meeting in a triple conjunction series.
Saturn passed behind the sun on February 4 and it began to climb into the morning sky. The Ringed Wonder moves slowly eastward compared to Venus and Mars. Saturn travels 1° eastward in about three weeks compared to Venus’ rapid eastward speed.
As Saturn emerged from the sun’s glare, Venus and Mars approached. Yesterday, the three planets clustered with the moon in the east-southeastern sky.
This morning’s conjunction is followed by a close Mars – Saturn conjunction in a week.
The morning planet ballet is not finished. Jupiter is emerging from bright sunlight. It rises thirty-five minutes before the sun and seventy minutes after Saturn. Jupiter is passed by Venus in a Proximate Conjunction on April 30. The Jupiter – Mars conjunction occurs a month later.
Mercury is in the sun’s blinding glare. It is moving toward its superior conjunction and visibility in the western evening sky after sunset next month. Later during April it moves through the brighter starfields of Taurus, passing the Pleiades star cluster on April 29. The moon joins that scene on May 2.
Continue watching the ever-changing interplanetary dance in the morning sky.
- 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.
- 2023, October 18: Moon-Antares Conjunction, Bright PlanetsOctober 18, 2023: The moon is near Antares after sunset. Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn are in the sky during the nighttime hours.
- 2023, October 17: Scorpion MoonOctober 17, 2023: The crescent moon is with Scorpius during evening twilight. Venus and Jupiter gleam from the predawn sky.
- 2023, October 16: Venus in Starry ConjunctionOctober 16, 2023: Venus passes a star in Leo before sunrise. A crescent moon is low in the western sky during evening twilight.