September 4, 2022: The Red Planet Mars continues its eastward trek through Taurus, passing stars in the Hyades star cluster. After sundown, Sagittarius seems to take aim at the moon.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:20 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 7:19 p.m. CDT. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Here are planet highlights for today:
Mars continues its eastward march through the rich starfields of Taurus. The Red Planet is high in the southeast about an hour before sunrise above Aldebaran and the Hyades star cluster that make the “V”, marking the Bull’s head.
Use a binocular to see the planet 1.4° above Epsilon Tauri (ε Tau on the charts). Its eastward trek is easily seen from morning to morning.
Move the binocular up slightly to include Kappa Tauri (κ Tau), Upsilon Tauri (υ Tau) and Omega Tauri (ω Tau). This morning Mars passes 1.9° to the lower right of Kappa.
Tomorrow, Mars passes between Upsilon and Epsilon.
At this hour, bright Jupiter is the bright star in the southwest.
Venus is low in the east-northeast about 45 minutes before sunup.
The waxing moon, 65% illuminated, is in the south as the sky darkens. An hour after sunset, Sagittarius is to the lower left of the lunar orb.
In mythology Sagittarius was the Archer – a centaur that was a human-animal hybrid. In celestial artworks the creature is drawing back an arrow in its bow.
The constellation more resembles a teapot and is sometimes known by this moniker.
The stars to the left of the moon have names for the bow and arrow. The bows parts are known as Kaus Borealis – meaning “the northern part of the bow” – Kaus Media – “the middle part of the bow” – and Kaus Australis – “the southern part of the bow.” Alnasl is the “point of the arrow.” The arrow generally pointing in the moon’s direction this evening.
The moon is in the approximate direction of the center of the galaxy. Earlier this year, the Event Horizon Telescope staff released a colorized radio map of the galactic black hole, that has been long suggested.
Saturn is farther eastward in the southeast. In another hour, it is joined by Jupiter, low in the eastern sky.
September 15, 2022: Three bright planets – Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter – are strung across the sky after midnight. Before sunrise, look for the moon near Mars.Keep reading
September 14, 2022: Three bright planets and the moon are visible overnight. The moon is near Uranus before daybreak. The Sickle of Leo is in the eastern sky before sunrise.Keep reading
September 13, 2022: Contrary to Internet memes, Mars will not appear as large as the moon when the Red Planet is closest to Earth. Overnight a planet display with Mars, the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn arches across the sky.Keep reading