April 25, 2023: The moon passes Mars this evening. They pair appears in front of Gemini. Brilliant Venus is lower in the sky than the Mars-Moon pairing. Saturn is visible before sunrise.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 5:56 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 7:43 p.m. CDT. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location. Times are calculated by the U.S. Naval Observatory’s MICA computer program.
Summaries of Current Sky Events
Here is today’s planet forecast:
Saturn appears higher in the sky above the east-southeast horizon each morning. At forty-five minutes before daybreak, the Ringed Wonder is nearly 15° up.
Jupiter is following Saturn into the morning sky, but it rises during bright twilight, only 18 minutes before sunup. It first appears next month in the eastern sky before sunrise.
Mercury continues to exit the evening sky and overtake our planet. The innermost planet sets 50 minutes after sundown. It is very difficult to see because it has dimmed considerably, appearing above the horizon during brighter evening twilight.
At forty-five minutes after nightfall, find the moon, 33% illuminated, over halfway up in the west, below Castor and Pollux, the Gemini Twins.
Mars, marching eastward in front of Gemini, is 3.1° to the lower left of the lunar orb. It is moving generally toward Pollux, passing in a wide conjunction on May 8th.
Mars is dimmer than Pollux, but brighter than Castor. The Red Planet is somewhat hiding in the moon’s glare. Even at this moon phase, the moonshine can illuminate the ground and cast shadows. Block the moon’s glare with your hand as you would to shield your eyes from the sun.
Brilliant Venus is easy to locate about 30° up in the western sky and less than that distance to the lower right of the moon. The Evening Star is stepping eastward against Taurus’ stars. This evening, the planet is 6.6° below Elnath, the Bull’s northern horn. It cuts the distance to Mars in the sky each evening.
Tomorrow evening, the moon is near Pollux.
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- 2023, December 23: Check out Planet Uranus, Pleiades near MoonDecember 23, 2023: Look for the planet Uranus and the Pleiades star cluster through a binocular during nighttime hours.
- 2023, December 22: Mercury at Inferior Conjunction, Bright Jupiter, Gibbous MoonDecember 22, 2023: Mercury is between Earth and Sun, known as inferior conjunction. Jupiter and the gibbous moon are celestial companions during nighttime hours.
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