2022, October 9: Hunter’s Moon, Bright Planets


October 9, 2022: The month’s full moon is known as the Hunter’s Moon, appearing in the sky all night.  Four bright planets – Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn – are easily visible during the night.

Chart Caption – 2022, October 9: Mars is high in the southwestern sky with Taurus after sunset. Notice reddish Betelgeuse and Aldebaran near the Red Planet.


by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Chicago, Illinois:  Sunrise, 6:56 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 6:19 p.m. CDT.  Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.

Here is today’s planet forecast:

Morning Sky


The nearly-Full moon is low in the west this morning at an hour before sunrise, after its all-night trek across the sky.  Jupiter and Saturn are below the western horizon at this hour.  Saturn sets nearly five hours before sunrise, while Jupiter sets over three hours later and near the time of this morning planet forecast.

The moon officially reaches the Full moon phase, this month known as the Hunter’s Moon, at 3:55 p.m.  Find it in the eastern sky after sundown, to the lower left of Jupiter.


While spotting the moon, look for Mars and Taurus higher in the sky.  Mars is high in the southwest, 3.0° from Zeta Tauri, the Bull’s southern horn.  The Red Planet is slowing its westward march, beginning the illusion of retrograde on the 30th.

Notice three reddish stars are in the same region.  From Mars look to the lower left for Betelgeuse – Orion’s shoulder – and Aldebaran, the brightest in Taurus, to Mars’ lower right.

Only Sirius is brighter than the Red Planet at this hour, with Jupiter below the horizon.

Chart Caption – 2022, October 9: Mercury is low in the east at 45 minutes before sunrise, near Zavijava.

At this hour, Mercury is over 5° above the east horizon.  Look about fifteen minutes later when the planet is higher.  The sky is slightly brighter at mid-twilight, but the extra altitude – height above the horizon – helps to locate the planet.

Photo Caption – 2022, June 24: Venus and Mercury before sunrise.

Mercury is putting on its best morning display of the year.  While the planet is low in the sky, this is the best view we get of the world closest to the sun. For the next few mornings, it rises about 90 minutes before daybreak, nearly shining as brightly as Mars.

Chart Caption – 2022, October 9: The Hunter’s Moon is low in the east after sundown. Jupiter is to the upper left and Saturn is above the south-southeast horizon.

Evening Sky

An hour after sunset, the Hunter’s Moon is low in the eastern sky.  That bright star to the upper right of the lunar orb is Jupiter.  It is the brightest star in the sky at this hour.  Only the sun, moon, Venus, and on occasions, Mars are brighter.

Saturn is to the upper right of Jupiter and about one-third of the way up in the sky in the east-southeast.  The Ringed Wonder leads the evening planets westward as Earth rotates during the night.  Mars follows Saturn, Jupiter, and the moon.  The Red Planet rises over three hours after sunset.  Around midnight with Jupiter and the moon in the southern sky, Saturn is lower in the west and Mars is low in the east.  Three planets and the moon are arched across the sky.



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