Watch the beautiful evening Venus, Jupiter, Gathering Moon

February 22, 2023: After sunset, Venus, Jupiter, and the crescent Moon will converge in the west-southwest. Look for it 45 minutes after sunset.

PHOTO CAPTION – 2019, February 28: Morning Star Arch, Venus, Saturn, Moon and Jupiter across the southeastern morning sky. The moon is midway between Jupiter and Saturn.

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By Jeffrey L Hunt

Chicago, IL: Sunrise, 6:37 a.m. CST; Sunset, 5:32 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location. Times calculated from the US Naval Observatory mica Computer program.

Transit times of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, when it is in the center of the planet in the Southern Hemisphere: 3:41 UT, 13:36 UT, 23:32 UT. Convert the time to your timezone. In the US, subtract five hours for EST, six hours for CST, and so on. Use the telescope to see the spot. times of Sky and telescope magazine.

Photo Caption – 2019, January 3: Bright Venus, Jupiter and a waning crescent moon.

This evening, Venus, Jupiter, and the Moon are in the same region of the sky. It is the most beautiful of the three night scenes. Sometimes Mars is brighter than Jupiter when the red planet is close to Earth. However, Jupiter is consistently brighter than Mars.

As shown in the evening section, the gathering of the three celestial bodies occurs in the west and southwest after sunset. How often does this happen and are they very close to each other?

Two nights earlier, Venus moved within 10 degrees of Jupiter and stayed in that range until March 11th. At this range, the lunar orb completes a large arc in its orbital path. So, there is a fairly high probability that all three will appear close to each other.

Image Caption – 2019, January 31: The waning moon is 2 degrees away from Venus this morning with Jupiter 8.5 degrees to the upper right of Venus.

This evening, the three of them almost fit into the binocular field of view. Venus and Jupiter at the edges of the field with a piece of the crescent moon. The full moon and Jupiter are suitable, but not three of them.

One way to classify an aggregation is to consider the smallest circle containing all three. The binoculars make a circular image, not the mask effect shown in the movies. Two eyes look at the same area of ​​the sky, not at two adjacent spots. Search through a cardboard tube that restricts the field to different sizes using different lengths.

The Moon does not appear as a point of light like Venus and Jupiter. Diameter is an additional factor.

Photo Caption – 2019, January 19: Venus – Jupiter, a difference of 3.7 degrees

To consider the question, a survey was made of the future conjunction of Venus and Jupiter, along with their vision. Four conjunctions occur too close to the Sun to be reasonably observed and are ruled out. Next, the three object clusters were scanned near the conjunctions times.

The survey was further constrained by measuring the size of the gathering in Chicago, Illinois, at about 45 minutes after sunset. The smallest circular shaft is dedicated to this site, but it makes a reasonable starting point for any place in the Americas.

The list below summarizes future affiliations and groupings.

Pairing date Assembly date time the smallest circle
March 1, 2023 February 22, 2023 evening 7.6 degrees
May 23, 2024 very close to the sun
August 12, 2025 August 20, 2025 morning 8.9 degrees
June 9, 2026 June 17, 2026 evening 7.4 degrees
August 25, 2027 very close to the sun
November 9, 2029 November 14, 2029 morning 10.7 degrees
September 8, 2029 September 10, 2029 evening 7.6 degrees
November 20, 2030 very close to the sun
February 6, 2032 February 9, 2032 morning 7.7 degrees
December 7, 2032 December 5, 2032 evening 9.5 degrees
February 22, 2034 February 19, 2034 evening 3.4 degrees
May 17, 2035 very close to the sun
March 25, 2036 March 30, 2036 evening 12.2 degrees
July 22, 2036 July 20, 2036 morning 4.9 degrees

The smallest circle, 3.4°, in the near future occurs on February 22, 2034. However, the Moon is less than 1% illuminated and close to the Sun. Only 20 minutes after sunset, we need binoculars and very clear skies.

Graph Caption – 2036, July 20: Venus, Jupiter and the crescent moon fit into a binocular field of view before sunrise.

At the July 20, 2036 gathering, Venus, Jupiter, and a crescent moon were in the eastern sky during morning twilight. It covers a circle with a diameter of 4.9 degrees and can easily be placed in a microscope. This occurs near Aldebaran and the Hyades star cluster in Taurus. The bright star is 4.1 degrees to the upper right of Venus.

Three corpse gatherings are not uncommon, occurring about every two years. Certainly, they are more frequent than the US presidential elections or the Olympic Games. Seeing them clustered so closely, in the binocular field of view is a rare occurrence. Mark your calendar for the July 20th, 2036 rally!

Here are the forecasts for today’s planet:

morning sky

The morning sky is empty of a bright planet. Mercury continues its glide in the sunlight. The swift rises only thirty-two minutes before sunrise, washed by the light of the approaching dawn.

evening sky

Chart Commentary – 2023, February 22: Bright Venus, Jupiter, and the crescent Moon gather to the west-southwest after sunset.

This evening, Venus, Jupiter, and the Moon gather in the west-southwest after sunset. The bright planet Venus is located 20 degrees above the horizon 45 minutes after sunset. Bright Jupiter lies 7.2 degrees to the left of Venus.

The 10% illuminated Moon is 1.3° to the lower left of Jupiter.

The night part of the Moon shows the gentle light of Earth’s rays, sunlight reflected from Earth’s oceans, clouds, and land.

Capture this scene with a camera on a tripod with exposures ranging from a split second to a few seconds.

Venus continues to pass Jupiter by about 1° each night, passing on March 1St. Watch this changing landscape each clear evening as Venus closes the gap and the Moon recedes.

Caption on chart – 2023, February 22: Mars marches east against Taurus in the southern sky.

High in the South, Mars marches east with Taurus in the stellar background. Watch it pass between Elnath and Epsilon Tauri (ε Tau on the chart) over the next few evenings. Elnath and Epsilon Tauri are too far apart to fit in a binocular field, but an optical aid may be needed to spot the second star.

The red planet is heading towards Elnath, and it will pass next month.

Mars is 10.4 degrees to the upper left of Aldebaran and 6.7 degrees to the lower right of Elnath.

Image caption – Jupiter (NASA images)

At 5:32 p.m. CST, time for sunset in Chicago, Jupiter’s Great Red Spot lies at the planet’s center in the Southern Hemisphere. This isn’t a good time for Chicago-area skywatchers, but those far east see the planet in an ideal spot.

The Red Spot viewing season is drawing to a close as the planet Jupiter begins to dip in the sky each evening. In about a month’s time, the planet will be low in the western sky and set during sunset.

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