2023, April 27: Saturn Morning View, Evening Venus, Mars, Waxing Moon


April 27, 2023: Saturn becomes easier to see each morning in the east-southeast before daybreak. Brilliant Venus, Mars, and the First Quarter moon are in the western sky after sundown.

Photo Caption – 2021, May 12: Venus, the crescent moon, and Mercury are in the west-northwest after sunset.


by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Chicago, Illinois:  Sunrise, 5:53 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 7:45 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:

Morning Sky

Chart Caption – 2023, April 27: Saturn is low in the east-southeast before daybreak.

Saturn continues to appear higher in the east-southeastern sky each morning before sunrise.  At forty-five minutes before sunup, the Ringed Wonder is over 15° above the horizon.  The planet’s altitude – height above the horizon – is not high enough for good telescopic views.

Jupiter is following Saturn in the morning sky.  After its conjunction with the sun, the Jovian Giant slowly climbs from bright twilight’s glare.  This morning it rises over 20 minutes before the sun.  It becomes easier to see next month.

Evening Sky

Chart Caption – 2023, April 27: Venus, Mars, and the half-full moon are in the western sky after sundown.

Fading in brightness and setting only 35 minutes after sundown, Mercury is quickly overtaking Earth.  The speedy planet passes between our world and the sun in a few days.  It then reappears low in the eastern sky for an unfavorable view.

Brilliant Venus continues to dominate the western sky after sundown.  At forty-five minutes after sundown, the planet is nearly 30° up in the sky.  It is stepping eastward against Taurus’ distant stars.  This evening it is 4.8° to the lower left of Elnath, the northern horn, and 7.3° to the lower right of Zeta Tauri, the southern horn.  On May 1st, Venus passes between the horns.

Mars, marching eastward in Gemini, is 28.0° to the upper left of Venus and over 22° to the lower right of the moon.  It is 7.8° below Pollux, one of the Twins.  The Red Planet passes the star in a wide conjunction on May 8th.

Venus continues to cut the gap to Mars.  It steps eastward about twice the Red Planet’s pace.  Watch Venus get noticeably closer to Mars during the next several weeks.

The moon, at its evening half-full phase (First Quarter) at 4:20 p.m. CDT, is high in the southwest.  It is in front of Cancer’s dim stars, about midway from Pollux to Regulus, the brightest star in Leo.

With this bright moon, the dimmer stars are not visible.  The moonlight whitewashes the sky covering the fainter celestial wonders.

Tomorrow evening the lunar orb is brighter and closer to Regulus.



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