June 2, 2022: The four morning planets – Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn – continue to spread out along the ecliptic in the eastern sky before sunrise. The moon is near the Gemini Twin Pollux after sundown.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 5:18 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 8:20 p.m. CDT. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
The four morning planets continue to scatter along the ecliptic in the eastern sky before sunrise. Likely the easiest planet to spot is bright Jupiter. An hour before sunrise, the solar system’s largest planet is over 20° above the east-southeast horizon.
Dimmer Mars is 2.4° to the lower left of the Jovian Giant. It is marching away from Jupiter and the gap widens every morning.
Brilliant Venus outshines all the other stars in the morning sky, but it is only 7° up in the east, possibly hiding behind neighborhood houses or trees. It is 31.6° to the lower left of Jupiter.
The fourth morning planet is Saturn, nearly 30° up in the south-southeast. The gap to Venus continues to widen. This morning it is 70.3°.
Mercury is slowly emerging from bright twilight for an unfavorable appearance. Later in the month, it appears with the other four bright worlds. At that time, they are in order from the sun in the eastern sky – Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, but they are not in a line from the sun.
This morning, look for the star Fomalhaut, above the southeastern horizon and to the lower left of Saturn.
After sundown, the crescent moon is in the western sky. An hour after sunset, it is over 20° above the west-northwest horizon and 3.5° to the lower left of the Gemini Twin Pollux.
Look for earthshine on the night portion of the moon. Sunlight reflects from Earth’s clouds, oceans, and land to illuminate the lunar night.
October 28, 2022: Arcturus appears higher in the east-northeast before sunrise. Spica arrives in the east-southeast soon. The moon is with Sagittarius and its Teapot.Keep reading