September 20, 2022: Before sunrise, the crescent moon – showing earthshine – is over halfway up in the east below Pollux. Mars and Jupiter are easily found before sunrise. Jupiter and Saturn appear in the early evening sky.
PODCAST FOR THIS ARTICLE
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:36 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 6:51 p.m. CDT. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Here is today’s planet forecast
SUMMARY OF PLANETS IN 2022 MORNING SKY
An hour before sunrise, the crescent moon, 27% illuminated and over halfway up in the east, is 2.9° below Pollux, one of the Gemini Twins.
Look for earthshine on the night portion of the moon. This is reflected sunlight from Earth’s oceans, clouds, and land, gently illuminating the lunar night. The view is accented through a binocular or spotting scope.
Mars is higher in the sky, to the upper right of the lunar crescent. The Red Planet continues its eastward march in front of Taurus. This morning it is about midway from the “V” of Taurus, outlined by Aldebaran and the Hyades star cluster, and the Bull’s horns – Elnath and Zeta Tauri.
Through a binocular, the planet is moving toward Iota Tauri (ι Tau on the chart).
The eastward trek continues until October 30th when Mars seems to reverse its direction and begin to retrograde – move westward compared to the starry background.
At this hour bright Jupiter is low in the west-southwest.
Venus rises 42 minutes before sunrise. It is slipping into bright twilight as it moves toward its superior conjunction beyond the sun on October 22nd. It emerges from bright twilight in the western evening sky. On December 10th, it sets 45 minutes after sundown, although it can be seen as early November, low in the west-southwest about 15 minutes after sunset.
Less than a week before its opposition with the sun, Jupiter is low in the east as night falls. At opposition Earth is between the planet and the sun. The planet is near its closest to Earth and at its brightest in our sky. For the Jovian Giant, only the sun, the moon, and Venus are regularly brighter. On occasions, Mars outshines it.
An hour after sunset, Jupiter is low in the eastern sky while Saturn is higher in the southeast.
The bright planets are moving to the evening sky. Mars follows the giant planets as early evening visitors later in the year. Tonight, Mars follows Jupiter across the horizon over three hours after sundown. At its opposition on December 7th, the Red Planet rises at sunset. An hour later, the bright outer planets – Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn – line up along an arc across the sky. This evening night owls and very early risers can see that arc after midnight, about 5 hours before sunrise; that’s about 1:30 a.m. CDT in Chicago.
2023, July 1: Mercury at Superior Conjunction, Brilliant Venus
July 1, 2023: Mercury begins an evening appearance with superior conjunction at the sun. Brilliant Venus is in an interval of greatest brightness after sundown.Keep reading
2023, June 30: Venus-Mars Quasi-Conjunction, Moon with Antares
June 30, 2023: Venus’ chase of Mars ends this evening with a quasi-conjunction. The bright evening gibbous is near Antares.Keep reading
2023, June 29: Venus Brakes, Scorpion Moon
June 29, 2023: Venus slows as it approaches Mars after sunset. Farther eastward, the bright gibbous moon is with the Scorpion’s head.Keep reading