2022, March 30:  Morning Planet Ballet

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March 30, 2022:  Venus, Mars, and Saturn continue to dance in the morning sky before sunrise.  Brilliant Venus begins to open a wider gap to Mars and Saturn.

Chart Caption – 2022, March 30: Brilliant Venus, Mars, and Saturn shine from the east-southeast before sunrise.

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by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Chicago, Illinois:  Sunrise, 6:37 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 7:14 p.m. CDT.  Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.

Morning Sky

SUMMARY OF PLANETS IN 2022 MORNING SKY

Three bright planets are visible in the east-southeast before sunrise.  Brilliant Venus is the brightest “star” in the sky and rivals airplane lights.  Find it about 11° up in the east-southeast at 45 minutes before sunrise.

Yesterday, the Morning Star passed Saturn.  Venus has moved farther eastward and it is 2.5° to the upper left of the Ringed Wonder.

Mars trails Venus, appearing 5.7° to the right of Earth’s Twin planet and 3.7° to the upper right of Saturn.  The Red Planet passes Saturn in less than a week.

Chart Caption – 2022, March 30: Venus, Mars, and Saturn appear in a binocular’s field of view.

Two mornings ago, these morning planets clustered in a circle that was 5.3° in diameter.  This morning the bunch is wider, but they still fit within a binocular’s field of view.

Venus is quickly stepping toward Jupiter that is still immersed in bright twilight.  This morning the gap to Jupiter is 27.5°, but Jupiter rises 36 minutes before sunup.  By mid-April, Venus cuts the gap to about 13° and Jupiter is low in the east during mid-twilight.

Mercury is nearing its superior conjunction with the sun and an evening appearance with the Pleiades and the moon.

Each morning, watch Venus open larger gaps to trailing Mars and slow-moving Saturn.  The interplanetary triplet fits into a binocular field for a few more mornings.

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