May 30, 2022: After yesterday’s conjunction, Mars is east of Jupiter trailing behind Venus. In the evening four bright stars, leftovers from the winter evening sky are in the western sky.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 5:19 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 8:18 p.m. CDT. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
The moon reaches its New phase at 6:30 a.m. CDT. Tomorrow evening look for a thin crescent, low in the west-northwest about 45 minutes after sunset. Use a binocular to initially spot it.
Mars is east of Jupiter along the ecliptic, the plane of the solar system, after yesterday’s conjunction. The pair is still close, only 0.8° apart. Mars is to the lower left of Jupiter.
As Mars marches eastward, a gap opens between the two planets. At Mars’ speed, it will not catch Jupiter and pass again until August 14, 2024.
At about 45 minutes before sunrise, bright Jupiter is over 20° above the east-southeast horizon. Dimmer Mars is immediately to its lower left. A binocular is helpful to initially identify Mars.
Brilliant Morning Star Venus passed Jupiter on April 30. For the past month. Venus has opened a substantial gap to Jupiter. This morning it is 28.6° to the lower left of the Jovian Giant.
Two months ago, Venus passed Saturn with Mars nearby. The slow-moving Saturn is trailing far behind the morning’s brightest star. Saturn, nearly 30° up in the south-southeast, is 66.9° to the upper left of Venus.
Mercury is slowly emerging from bright morning twilight, but it rises only twenty-three minutes before the sun.
About an hour after sunset, step outside and look to the northwest. At this season, four bright stars, leftovers from winter’s evenings, are low in the sky.
Procyon, Canis Minor’s brightest star, is about 10° above the west horizon. Pollux and Castor, the Gemini Twins, are higher in the west, nearly 30° above the horizon. Capella, the brightest in Auriga, is about 15° up in the west-northwest. This star is also visible low in the north-northeast before sunrise.
- 2023, October 22: Moon Approaches SaturnOctober 22, 2023: During evening hours, the gibbous moon nears Saturn in the southern sky. Venus and Jupiter are visible during morning twilight.
- 2023, October 21: Three Bright Planets, First Quarter MoonOctober 21, 2023: Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn are easy to locate during nighttime hours. The First Quarter moon phase occurs this evening.
- 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.