Moon slides past 3 morning planets

earthsky.org | 1/29/2019 | Bruce McClure
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Click For Photo: https://en.es-static.us/upl/2019/01/2019-jan-30-31-feb-1-moon-jupiter-venus-saturn-300x300.jpg

Starting around January 30, 2019 – and through the morning of February 1 and possibly even February 2 – watch the slender waning crescent moon slide by the planets Jupiter, Venus and then Saturn.

Keep track of moon phases with EarthSky lunar calendars. Order now. Going fast!

January - Moon - Jupiter - Venus - Saturn

On January 30, the moon rises first, followed by Jupiter, then Venus and then Saturn. Given clear skies and an unobstructed horizon in the direction of sunrise, it’ll be easy to catch the moon, Venus and Jupiter. These worlds rank as the second-brightest, third-brightest and fourth-brightest celestial bodies to light up the heavens, respectively, after the sun.

Then just keep watching. The planets and moon will still be there – and the lit side of the moon will still be pointing in the direction of Saturn – on January 31 and February 1.

Eliot - Herman - Venus - Brighter - Jupiter

Eliot Herman caught Venus (brighter) and Jupiter on the morning of their conjunction (January 22, 2019). Note that, on the morning, Jupiter was below Venus as seen from U.S. latitudes. By the end of January, Jupiter is above Venus as seen from around the world.

Saturn is just now returning to the east before dawn, to begin its yearly trek across Earth’s skies. It’s not very prominent yet, and you might encounter haze or other murk near the horizon.

Saturn - Challenge - Sunrise - Horizon - Luster

Thus Saturn will present more of a challenge, sitting, as it does, much closer to the sunrise horizon, with its luster tarnished by the glow of morning dawn. Although Saturn will be nowhere near as bright as the moon, Venus or Jupiter, the ringed planet nonetheless now shines as brightly as a 1st-magnitude star.

On any of these mornings, draw an imaginary line between Venus and Jupiter to spot Saturn near the horizon an hour or so before sunrise. That imaginary line will continue to work for you...
(Excerpt) Read more at: earthsky.org
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