June 14, 2022: The moon is visible before sunrise in the southwest, along with the morning planets in the eastern sky. The lunar orb is visible about two hours after sunset in the southeast.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 5:15 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 8:27 p.m. CDT. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
The nearly Full moon is low in the southwest during morning twilight. The official Full phase occurs at 6:52 a.m. CDT, nearly two hours after it sets in the Chicago area.
The planet parade continues from the east-northeast to the south-southeast. Currently four bright planets – Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn – are visible during the middle of morning twilight that lasts over two hours at this season for latitudes near Chicago.
One hour before sunrise, Saturn is over one-third of the way up in the sky, above the south-southeast horizon. It is the dimmest of the four planets visible at this hour.
The Ringed Wonder is retrograding, moving westward compared to the starry background, in eastern Capricornus, near the star Deneb Algedi. Retrograde is an illusion as our faster moving planet overtakes and passes a planet that is more distant from the sun than Earth. Use a binocular to track the planet’s westward progress from week to week.
The star Fomalhaut – meaning “the mouth of the southern fish” – is about 15° above the horizon, to the lower left of Saturn.
Bright Jupiter, 40.5° to the lower left of Saturn and nearly 30° up in the east-southeast, is 9.4° to the upper right of Mars. The Red Planet continues to march away from the Jovian Giant, separating at about 0.4° each morning.
Mars is striding toward an opposition with the sun on the evening of December 7. Currently in front of the stars of Pisces. By early August, it is near the Pleiades.
This star cluster is entering the morning sky, to the left of Venus. The brilliant Morning Star is about 8° up in the east-northeast and over 44° to the lower left of Jupiter, at this hour. The Pleiades are nearly 7° above the horizon and about 12° to the left of Venus. Use a binocular to find the cluster. Can you see it without the binocular’s optical assist?
The star Capella – meaning “the little she goat” – is above the horizon in the north-northeast, over 40° to the left of Venus.
The star Hamal, the brightest in Aries, is over 15° to the upper right of the brilliant planet.
Venus is still in the same binocular field with Uranus, a challenging observation at this level of twilight.
At forty-five minutes before sunrise, Mercury is low in the east-northeast, 10.9° to the lower left of Venus. This is another challenging observation because of Mercury’s low altitude and the level of twilight.
The best part of the morning planet parade begins in four mornings, when the moon begins hopping from planet to planet, ending with a close grouping of Mercury and the lunar crescent on June 27.
The bright moon, over twelve hours after its official Full moon phase, is low in the southeast, two hours after sundown. It is nearly 25° to the lower left of Antares, meaning “the rival of Mars.”
July 26, 2022: The crescent moon makes a spectacular artistic display with Venus before sunrise. Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn arc across the sky above Venus. Draco is in the north after twilight ends.Keep reading
July 25, 2022: The thin crescent moon is nearly caught between the Bull’s horns before daybreak. The four bright planets – Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn – nearly span the sky before daybreak.Keep reading