May 28, 2022: The four morning planets – Venus, Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn – are in the eastern sky before sunrise. As the moon leaves the morning sky, it is visible low in the east-northeast during bright twilight.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 5:21 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 8:15 p.m. CDT. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Daylight is approaching 15 hours at this latitude. Today it is six minutes shy of that mark. From May 31 through July 11, the duration is longer than 15 hours, reaching its maximum – 15 hours, 14 minutes – on June 22 and June 23.
The morning planet parade continues in the eastern sky before sunrise. This morning, Mars continues its approach to Jupiter before tomorrow’s conjunction.
Start with Morning Star Venus in the eastern sky before sunrise. Find it about 8° up in the east at 45 minutes before sunup. Find a location with a clear horizon in that direction.
Bright Jupiter, 20° up in the east-southeast, is 26.6° to the upper right of Venus. Look closely for dimmer Mars, 0.8° to the lower right of the Jovian Giant. Mars slides past Jupiter tomorrow morning.
Mars moves eastward at a rate of 0.6° per day, while Jupiter only moves 0.1° from morning to morning. The fastest moving among the four visible worlds before sunrise is Venus. It travels about 1° from morning to morning. Saturn is the slowest and the reason Venus is able to open a large gap to the Ringed Wonder. The Venus – Saturn gap is 64.5°. Two months ago, Venus, Mars, Saturn and the moon were bunched together. Venus quickly sped away from Saturn and Mars. Mars trailed behind Venus when the Morning Star stepped eastward.
The challenge observation of the morning is with the moon. After yesterday’s wonderful grouping with Venus, the lunar crescent is low in the east-northeast at 30 minutes before sunrise. First find Venus, nearly 10° up in the east. The crescent, 4% illuminated, is about 4° up in the east-northeast, 14.7° to the lower left of the Morning Star.
Mercury is slowly moving into the eastern sky, rising only 16 minutes before the sun.
- 2023, October 20: Jupiter’s Double Shadows, Mercury at Superior ConjunctionOctober 20: After midnight, Jupiter’s moons’ shadows dance across the cloud tops. Mercury is at superior conjunction.
- 2023, October 19: Poured Moon, See Planet UranusOctober 19: Sagittarius seems to pour the moon into the sky this evening. Find Uranus with a binocular.
- 2023, October 18: Moon-Antares Conjunction, Bright PlanetsOctober 18, 2023: The moon is near Antares after sunset. Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn are in the sky during the nighttime hours.
- 2023, October 17: Scorpion MoonOctober 17, 2023: The crescent moon is with Scorpius during evening twilight. Venus and Jupiter gleam from the predawn sky.
- 2023, October 16: Venus in Starry ConjunctionOctober 16, 2023: Venus passes a star in Leo before sunrise. A crescent moon is low in the western sky during evening twilight.