June 11, 2022: Four bright planets – Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are in the eastern sky before sunrise. After sunset, the bright gibbous moon is near the Scorpion’s southern claw.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 5:15 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 8:26 p.m. CDT. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Again, this morning, the sun rises at its earliest time. This continues through June 19.
Four bright morning planets – Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, shine from the eastern sky during morning twilight. Later this month, Mercury joins this morning planet parade. The five bright planets appear in order from the sun – Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Seeing the bright five is not unusual, but seeing them in order from the sun is infrequent.
An hour before sunrise, Venus is about 7° up in the east-northeast. The brilliant Morning Star is about the same altitude – height above the horizon – as the star Capella, over 7° up in the north-northeast and nearly 43° to the left of the planet.
The Pleiades star cluster is emerging from bright twilight, about 4° above the horizon and 15.1° to the lower left of Venus. A binocular is needed to see the cluster at this time.
Use the binocular to look for Uranus. Venus appears in the same binocular field as the distant planet, appearing as an aquamarine star to the upper left of Venus.
Bright Jupiter, over 25° up in the east-southeast, is 40.9° to the upper right of Venus. Dimmer Mars, marching eastward away from Jupiter, is 7.6° to the lower left of the Jovian Giant.
The fourth planet is Saturn, 30° up in the south-southeast. It is retrograding in eastern Capricornus. The distant star Deneb Algedi is nearby.
Look for the star Fomalhaut, 12° above the horizon and nearly 22° to the lower left of Saturn.
The four morning planets span nearly 81°. Venus is quickly stepping eastward, while Saturn continues tis slow retrograde.
After sunset and the sky darkens, the bright gibbous moon – 92% illuminated – is about one-third of the way up in the south-southeast. It is 2.8° to the lower left of Zubenelgenubi – meaning “the southern claw of the scorpion.”
The star is challenging to see with this bright moon. Attempt to see Zubenelgenubi by stepping into the shadow of a house or building; even tree branches can block the moon’s glare.
Antares – meaning “the rival of Mars” – is over 20° to the lower left of the lunar orb and over 10° above the southeast horizon. In celestial art, Antares marks the heart of the Scorpion.
January 6, 2023: The bright Full moon appears near Castor and Pollux all night. Four bright planets – Venus, Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars – span the sky after sundown.Keep reading
January 5, 2023: The bright moon can be seen before sunrise and after sunset. Four bright planets are strung across the sky from southwest to east after sundown. Orion’s Rigel rises at sundown.Keep reading