2022, April 20: Venus Approaches Jupiter, Evening Mercury

April 20, 2022:  Venus begins its approach to Jupiter, leading up to their April 30, 2022 proximate conjunction.  Mars and Saturn are to the upper right of Saturn.  Mercury is in the western sky after sunset.

2022, April 20: The bright moon is in the south-southwest before sunup.
Chart Caption – 2022, April 20: The bright moon is in the south-southwest before sunup.

PODCAST FOR THIS ARTICLE

by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Chicago, Illinois:  Sunrise, 6:03 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 7:37 p.m. CDT.  Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.

Morning Sky

Step outside during morning twilight.  The bright moon, 83% illuminated, is 20° up in the south-southwest, 9.2° to the upper left of Antares – “the rival of Mars.”  The star marks the heart of Scorpius.

The moon is in front of the stars of Ophiuchus, the Serpent Holder.  It is one of the sixteen constellations that the moon and planets can appear.  This includes Cetus, Orion, and Sextans. Tomorrow morning the moon appears in front of Sagittarius.

2022, April 20: Four bright planets – Jupiter, Venus, Mars, and Saturn – are in the eastern sky before sunrise.
Chart Caption – 2022, April 20: Four bright planets – Jupiter, Venus, Mars, and Saturn – are in the eastern sky before sunrise.

This morning farther eastward, brilliant Venus is 9.0° above the east-southeast horizon.  The planet rises 97 minutes before sunup, about 10 minutes after the beginning of morning twilight.  Until it disappears from the morning sky later this year, it hangs low in the eastern sky before sunrise.

Venus is approaching Jupiter for a proximate conjunction, one that is 0.5° or less, on April 30.  This morning, Jupiter is nearly 5° above the horizon and 9.3° to the lower left of Venus.

Mars, marching eastward in Aquarius, is 12.2° to the upper right of Venus and 10.4° to the lower left of Saturn.

The four planets, from Jupiter to Saturn, span 32.1°.

Evening Sky

2022, April 20: Mercury is in the west-northwest after sundown.
Chart Caption – 2022, April 20: Mercury is in the west-northwest after sundown.

After sunset, speedy Mercury is reaching for its best evening appearance of the year in the northern hemisphere.  At forty-five minutes after sunset, the planet is over 8° above the east-northeast.  It is higher each evening and closer to the Pleiades star cluster.  Mercury passes the cluster at month’s end.

Watch Mercury appear higher and closer to the star cluster each evening.

RECENT PODCASTS

RECENT ARTICLES

2021, July 2: Sunrise!

2022, June 21:  Evening Planet Parade Visibility, Summer Solstice

June 21, 2022: How frequently are the five bright planets visible in their order from the sun after sundown?  Five the morning planet parade in the eastern sky before sunrise.

Keep reading
2022, March 28: A close bunching of Venus, Saturn, Mars, and the crescent moon.

2022, June 20:  Morning Planet Parade Visibility

June 20, 2022: How frequently are the five bright planets visible in their order from the sun before daybreak?  These planets are in this order in the eastern sky before sunrise.

Keep reading
2020, March 30: One day before their conjunction, Mars is 1.2° to the lower right of Saturn. Jupiter is 5.6° to the upper right of Mars.

2022, June 19:  Planet Order Frequency, Moon Identifies Planets

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


Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: