2023, March 2: Venus Steps from Jupiter, Evening Moon, Pollux


March 2, 2023: Venus opens a gap on Jupiter in the west-southwest after their conjunction last night.  The moon is near Pollux after sundown. Mars marches eastward against Taurus.

Photo Caption – 2019, January 21: Venus and Jupiter are 2.6 degrees apart


by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Chicago, Illinois:  Sunrise, 6:26 a.m. CST; Sunset, 5:41 p.m. CST.  Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.  Times are calculated from the U.S. Naval Observatory’s MICA computer program.

Here is today’s planet forecast:

Morning Sky

Two bright planets are immersed in bright morning twilight.  Saturn slowly climbs into the morning sky after its conjunction last month.  It is first visible low in the eastern sky about the time of the equinox.  It rises about 20 minutes before sunup. Mercury is heading for its superior conjunction in nearly two weeks.  It rises about five minutes after Saturn.

Evening Sky

Chart Caption – 2023, March 2: Venus opens a gap on Jupiter in the west-southwest after sundown.

One evening after their conjunction, brilliant Venus is near Jupiter in the west-southwest after sundown.  You can find them shortly after sunset until about 90 minutes after the sun leaves the sky.

This evening Venus is 0.9° above the Jovian Giant.  The gap opens about 1° each evening.  Venus is within 10° of Jupiter through the 11th.

Venus climbs higher in the sky each evening, reaching its maximum setting time interval compared to the sun during early May.

In contrast, Jupiter sets earlier each evening, disappearing into bright evening twilight at the end of the month.

Chart Caption – 2023, March 2: The gibbous moon is near Pollux, one of the Gemini Twins after sundown.

Farther eastward, the bright gibbous moon, 83% illuminated, is high in the east-southeast, and 2.0° to the lower right of Pollux, one of the Gemini Twins.  Because of the moon’s proximity to the star, block the moon with your hand as you would to shield your eyes from the sun.

Chart Caption – 2023, March 2: Mars, high in the south-southwest, approaches Elnath, the northern horn of Taurus.

Mars is high in the south-southwest, marching eastward in Taurus.  It is 4.2° to the lower left of Elnath, the Bull’s northern horn.  Mars passes the star in a week, then moves between the horns on the 11th, and past the southern horn, Zeta Tauri, on the 14th.



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