August 29, 2022: Jupiter and Mars are easily visible during morning twilight. Venus is low in the east-northeast. The crescent moon returns to the evening sky.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:13 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 7:29 p.m. CDT. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Here is the planet forecast for today:
Bright Jupiter is less than halfway up in the southwest. It is with the dim stars of Cetus, the Sea Monster. The creature’s tail – Deneb Kaitos – is the lower left of the Jovian Giant, less than one-half of the way toward the horizon.
Mars, over 60° to the east of Jupiter, is over two-thirds of the way up in the sky above the southeast horizon. It marches eastward in Taurus, above the Hyades star cluster.
The cluster with Aldebaran makes the “V” shape of the Bull’s head. Its horns are tipped by Elnath – also known as Beta Tauri – and Zeta Tauri.
The Pleiades ride on the Bull’s back.
Use a binocular to note the planet’s spot compared to the distant stars. Choose any star on the accompanying star chart and watch the planet pass it during the next several mornings.
The chart identifies stars in the Hyades with their star catalog names along with Aldebaran.
By 45 minutes before sunrise, Venus is about 5° above the east-northeast horizon. It is slowly moving back into bright sunlight. Rising less than 90 minutes before daybreak, the Morning Star is becoming more to see.
A thin crescent moon is low in the west about forty-five minutes after sunset. Each evening, it appears higher in the sky and with a slightly thicker crescent.
Earthshine is again visible on the night portion. Sunlight reflected from Earth’s oceans, clouds, and land gently illuminate the lunar night.
At about this time, Saturn is low in the east-southeast. Wait until the sky is darker and Jupiter appears in the east, about two hours after sunset.
The planet parade is shifting toward the evening sky. Saturn leads the way, followed by Jupiter. Mars crosses the eastern horizon over two hours after Jupiter rises. Venus is slowly leaving the morning sky. It passes behind the sun and enters the evening sky from the west, cutting in front to lead the parade. Near year’s end Mercury quickly enters the evening sky, making another five-planet parade, extending eastward from the sunset point. In order the bright planets are: Venus, Mercury, Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars.
At the end of twilight this evening, bright Jupiter is above the eastern horizon, while Saturn is to its upper right in the southeast. It is with Deneb Algedi and Nashira, in eastern Capricornus.
Through a binocular, Saturn is between Nashira and Iota Capricorni (ι Cap on the chart).
By tomorrow morning at one hour before sunrise, Saturn is below the horizon and Jupiter and Mars are easily visible again.
- 2023, October 24: Venus, Jupiter, Bookend Bright OrionOctober 24, 2023: Morning planets Venus and Jupiter bookend many bright stars, including Orion. The moon is near Saturn during the evening.
- 2023, October 23: Venus at Greatest ElongationOctober 23, 2023: Venus moves to its farthest angular distance from the sun today, known as greatest elongation. During morning twilight, the Morning Star passes Leo’s Chertan.
- 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.