May 29, 2022: Mars passes bright Jupiter this morning in a relatively close conjunction. The separation is 0.6°. Morning Star Venus and Saturn are nearby.
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.
Mars passes bright Jupiter this morning in the eastern sky. At this conjunction, Mars is 0.6° to the lower right of the Jovian Giant.
The two planets look close in the sky, but both are millions of miles away and Jupiter is nearly four times farther away than the Red Planet. Mars is smaller and less reflective than Jupiter.
Jupiter and Mars are over 20° up in the east-southeast about 45 minutes before sunrise. Look carefully to see Mars to Jupiter’s lower right. A binocular is helpful to locate the Red Planet.
Each morning Mars marches eastward faster than Jupiter and slowly pulls away and opens a gap to this large planet. Mars catches and passes Jupiter again on August 14, 2024.
This planetary pair, is part of a string of four planets in the eastern sky. The brightest is Morning Star Venus that is about 10° up in the east at 45 minutes before sunrise. Earth’s nearest neighbor steps quickly eastward and continues to open a large gap to the other three planets. The Venus – Jupiter gap is 27.6°.
Saturn, nearly 30° up in the south-southeast, is 38.1° to the upper right of Jupiter.
Notice the star Fomalhaut, about 10° up in the southeast and to the lower left of Saturn.
Mercury is slowly moving into the morning sky. This morning it rises 20 minutes before sunrise.
- 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.