2022, May 11:  Morning Planet Gems, Goodbye Mercury

May 11, 2022:  Four bright morning planet gems – Venus, Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn – are stretched out along the eastern horizon.  During the evening hours, Mercury recedes into bright twilight.

2022, May 11: The morning planets are in the eastern sky before sunrise.
Chart Caption – 2022, May 11: The morning planets are in the eastern sky before sunrise.

PODCAST FOR THIS ARTICLE

by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Chicago, Illinois:  Sunrise, 5:35 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 8:00 p.m. CDT.  Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.

Morning Sky

SUMMARY OF PLANETS IN 2022 MORNING SKY

A planet necklace with four bright planet gems – Venus, Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn – stretches across the eastern sky before sunrise.

Brilliant Venus is the brightest planet and the brightest star this morning.  Find it over 8° up in the east during morning twilight.

Bright Jupiter is 9.9° to the upper right of Venus.  The Jovian Giant moves slower than eastward-moving Venus. About two weeks after their close (proximate) conjunction, the gap between them opens about one degree each day.

Extend your arm and look at the finger nail on your pointer finger.  At arm’s length, the nail’s width is about one degree.

Mars, 10.2° to the upper right of Jupiter and over 16° above the east-southeast horizon, is marching eastward toward that giant planet.  Mars overtakes and passes Jupiter on May 29.

Saturn is the highest in the sky and farthest from Venus.  The Ringed Wonder is over 20° up in the southeast and 45.2° from the Morning star. 

Venus continues to widen the overall necklace each morning.

Evening Sky

2022, May 11: Mercury is low in the west-northwest after sundown.
Chart Caption – 2022, May 11: Mercury is low in the west-northwest after sundown.

This evening, we say “Goodbye” to Mercury as it is just above the west-northwest horizon, dim, and a challenge to see. Use a binocular to find it. It is moving toward inferior conjunction, between Earth and the sun, and its foray into the morning sky next month with the four other bright planets.

The bright gibbous moon, 80% illuminated and four evenings before its total lunar eclipse, is in the south-southeast – in front of the stars of Virgo and to the lower left of Leo, 10.1° to the lower left of Denebola – the Lion’s tail.

2022, May 11: Look into the southern sky for the gibbous moon, to the lower left of Leo.
Chart Caption – 2022, May 11: Look into the southern sky for the gibbous moon, to the lower left of Leo.

Use a binocular to find the star Zavijava – meaning “the corner of the barking dog” – 3.2° to the lower right of the lunar orb.  Once the star is located, move the binocular slightly so that the glaringly bright moon is outside the field of view.

Look at the ground around you.  The moon casts considerable light across the terrestrial landscape, enough to create shadows.

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: