2023, May 22: Evening Crescent Moon near Venus


May 22, 2023: Two bright planets, Jupiter and Saturn, are visible before sunrise, while the crescent moon is near Venus after nightfall.

Moon and Venus, August 15, 2020
Photo Caption – 2020, August 15: The crescent moon appears 3.4° to the upper left of Venus this morning among the stars of western Gemini.


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:

Morning Sky

Chart Caption – 2023, May 22: Saturn and the star Fomalhaut are in the southeast before daybreak.

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.

Evening Sky

Chart Caption – 2023, May 22: Venus, Mars, and the crescent moon are part of a pretty celestial scene after sundown.

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.

Photo Caption – 2023, January 23: Evening crescent moon with earthshine.

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.

Chart Caption – 2023, May 22: Venus and the crescent moon easily fit into a binocular’s field of view.

Venus and the moon fit into the same binocular field of view.  The earthshine effect is easy to see with this optical assistance.

Chart Caption – Venus moves in front of Gemini, May 7-June 2, 2023.

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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