May 22, 2023: Two bright planets, Jupiter and Saturn, are visible before sunrise, while the crescent moon is near Venus after nightfall.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 5:25 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 8:11 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:
An hour before daybreak, bright Jupiter is low in the east-northeast. It appears higher in the sky each morning.
At this hour Saturn, considerably dimmer than Jupiter, is nearly 25° above the southeast horizon. The star Fomalhaut, is nearly 20° to the lower right of Saturn and about 5° up in the sky.
After sundown, a lovely crescent moon, 11% illuminated, is in the west-northwest. It is 5.7° to the lower right of Venus. This is a pretty scene.
Notice earthshine on the night portion of the moon. Sunlight reflected from Earth’s oceans, clouds, and land gently illuminates the lunar night. This is similar to bright moonshine illuminating terrestrial features. Near Full moon nights, a nighttime walk is easy without a flashlight.
Venus and the moon fit into the same binocular field of view. The earthshine effect is easy to see with this optical assistance.
The Evening star is stepping eastward against Gemini. The Twins, Castor and Pollux, are above the planet. As the it moves eastward, it brightens during the next month.
Venus continues to close the gap to Mars. This evening the gap is less than 15°.
Mars, about the brightness of Castor, is marching eastward in western Cancer, 9.4° to the upper left of Pollux.
Tomorrow evening the moon is to the upper left of Venus and near Pollux.
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