Watch The ‘Giant Planet’ Meet The ‘Red Planet’ With Your Naked Eyes: What To See In The Night Sky This Week
Each Monday I pick out the northern hemisphere’s celestial highlights (mid-northern latitudes) for the week ahead, but be sure to check my main feed for more in-depth articles on stargazing, astronomy, eclipses and more.
What To Watch For In The Night Sky This Week: May 23-29, 2022
In the wake of last week’s exciting total lunar eclipse (when is the next one?) the night sky has been dark and increasingly moonless. With the Moon now at Last Quarter the first few days of this week will be good for watching it slim to a crescent in the east in the pre-dawn hours, passing the planets as it does so.
However, keep an eye on Mars and Jupiter, which will appear to get closer to each other on each successive morning until Friday’s close conjunction. You don’t need any equipment for any of this week’s night sights—just clear skies and your own wide, naked eyes.
Tuesday, May 24, 2022: A crescent Moon and Mars
Look to the southeast this morning before sunrise to glimpse a 33%-lit crescent Moon just 2.4º from the planet Mars. Venus, Saturn and Jupiter will also be visible.
Wednesday, May 25, 2022: A crescent Moon and Jupiter
Look to the southeast this morning before sunrise to glimpse a 24%-lit crescent Moon just 3.3º from giant planet Jupiter. Venus, Saturn and Mars will also be visible.
Thursday, May 26, 2022: A crescent Moon and Venus
Look to the southeast this morning before sunrise to glimpse a 16%-lit crescent Moon just 0.2º from super-bright Venus, the “Morning Star.” Jupiter, Mars and Saturn will also be visible.
Friday, May 27, 2022: A crescent Moon occults Venus
The waning crescent Moon—just 9%-lit—will occult the planet Venus, but only for those in Madagascar. For the rest of us another beautiful conjunction with Venus will occur, this time with an even slimmer crescent Moon than yesterday.
Sunday, May 29, 2022: Mars meets Jupiter
Look to the southeastern sky in the pre-dawn hour this morning and you’ll see the planets Jupiter and Mars close together. They will be about 0.5º apart—about half the width of a full Moon. Bright Venus will become visible to their lower-left close to the horizon.
Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.