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2022, May 27: Dazzling Venus, Lunar Crescent, Mars Nears Jupiter

2021, December 6: Venus and the moon.

Photo Caption - 2021, December 6: Venus and the moon.

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May 27, 2022: The razor-thin lunar crescent is near Morning Star Venus in the eastern sky before sunrise.  Mars continues to close in on Jupiter before their conjunction in two mornings.  Saturn is nearby.

Chart Caption – 2022, May 27: The four morning planets and the crescent moon are in the eastern sky before sunrise.

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by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Chicago, Illinois:  Sunrise, 5:22 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 8:15 p.m. CDT.  Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.

Morning Sky

SUMMARY OF PLANETS IN 2022 MORNING SKY

The four bright morning planets and the moon are in the eastern sky before sunrise.  Two do-not-miss events are occurring.

This morning a razor thin crescent moon is near Morning Star Venus in the eastern sky before sunrise.

Find a clear horizon toward the east.  An elevated structure or hillside may improve the view.  Look for the crescent moon, 9 % illuminated, about 7° up in the east.  Brilliant Venus is 3.6° to the upper right of the crescent, a stunning grouping!  When the moon revisits the region next month, the grouping is 1.0° closer.

For sky watchers in the eastern Americas and locales farther eastward, the moon is closer to Venus.  For example, in Rome, Italy, the lunar crescent is 1.0° to the lower right of Venus.  From New Delhi, India, the moon is 1.8° to the right of the planet.  Regardless of your location, get outside before sunrise to spot this dazzling morning pair.

Chart Caption – 2022, May 27: Venus and the crescent moon fit into the same binocular field of view this morning.

Use a binocular to see Venus and the lunar crescent up close.

2019, January 31: Venus and the crescent moon up close. Notice the “earthshine” on the night portion of the moon.

Look for earthshine – sunlight reflected from Earth’s oceans, clouds, and land – illuminating the night portion of the moon.

In the second event, Mars continues to close in on Jupiter.  The Red Planet passes the Jovian Giant in two mornings.

Jupiter is the second brightest “star” this morning, 25.6° to the upper right of Venus.  Dimmer Mars is 1.3° to the right of Jupiter.  Tomorrow morning, Mars is 0.9° to the lower right of the solar system’s largest planet.

Saturn is about 30° up in the south-southeast.  Saturn’s gap continues to widen to Venus.  The span is 63.4°.  Saturn’s eastward speed is much slower than Venus as the Morning Star quickly steps eastward at about 1.0° each day.

Mercury is slowly joining the morning planets.  It passed its inferior conjunction, moving into the morning sky.  This morning it is in bright sunlight, rising only 13 minutes before sunrise. 

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