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.
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.
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.
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.
June 19, 2022: How frequently are the five bright planets in order from the sun to create a morning or evening planet parade. The five planets are in the sky before daybreak.Keep reading
June 18, 2022: The moon joins the morning planet parade. Find it near Saturn before daybreak. After sunset, Arcturus is high in the southwestern sky.Keep reading