2022, November 6: Mid-Autumn, End of DST, Planet Parade – When the Curves Align
November 6, 2022: Autumn reaches its midpoint today. Set the clocks back one hour. The three bright outer planets – Mars, Jupiter and Saturn – are visible at night.
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by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, IL: Sunrise, 6:29 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 4:39 p.m. CDT. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Transit times of the Great Red Spot, when it is in the center of the planet in the southern hemisphere: 3h48 UT, 13h44 UT; 11:40 p.m. UT. Convert the time to your time zone. In the US, subtract five hours for EST, six hours for CST, etc. Use a telescope to see the place.
Clocks revert to standard time today in the United States and Canada.
Fall is halfway through today at 8:24 a.m. CST. Daylight continues to fade until the winter solstice, December 21 at 4:48 p.m. CST. The season lasts 89 days, 20 hours, 40 minutes.
Here is today’s planetary forecast:
SUMMARY OF PLANETS IN THE MORNING SKY 2022
An hour before sunrise, Mars, almost as bright as Sirius, is halfway west above the horns of Taurus. It is 3.0° upper right of Zeta Tauri, the southern horn.
SUMMARY OF THE MARCH 2022 OPPOSITION
The Red Planet is moving noticeably west after beginning to retrograde a week ago. He’s passing Zeta tomorrow night. The planet moves between the horns on the 13the and passes Elnath, the northern horn, on the 18the.
Retrograde motion is an illusion of our fast-moving planet catching up and moving between the Sun and Mars. Earth is between Mars and the Sun on December 7esays opposition.
Forty-five minutes before sunrise, the Arcturus topaz and the Spica sapphire are in the eastern sky. Arcturus is nearly 20° east, while Spica is less than 10° east-southeast.
Mercury approaches its superior conjunction on the 8the and entering the evening sky.
Venus continues its slow emergence from sunlight. Tonight, it sets twelve minutes after the sun.
While Arcturus is in the eastern sky before sunrise, it remains visible in the west after sunset, more than 5° in the west-northwest one hour after sunset.
At this time, the bright moon, 98% illuminated, is about 20° up to the east. Moonlight washes out the darker star fields, but bright Jupiter is easily visible to the upper right of the lunar orb and about 30° to the southeast.
Skywatchers with telescopes in the central United States can see Jupiter’s red spot near the center of the planet at this time, but the planet is low in the sky during twilight. At this place, the atmosphere blurs the view and sometimes makes the planet dance in the eyepiece. Observers farther east can see the planet higher in clearer skies.
The bright moon illuminates the earth landscape. Once human eyes adjust to the darkness, it’s easy to walk outside in that bright moonlight.
For an astronaut on the moon, the Earth would show a thin crescent and the night glowing slightly from the soft moonlight that illuminates our floor. While the moon is less reflective than our planet, the nighttime portion of Earth would show some illumination.
Farther south, dimmer Saturn approaches the southern cardinal point and sits at about the same altitude as Jupiter. The ringed wonder moves eastward in Capricorn, but the intensities of the stars are diminished by the brilliant moonlight. Saturn is at the top right of the star Fomalhaut – which means “the mouth of the southern fish”.
Four hours after sunset, Mars is nearly 20° east-northeast. With earlier sunsets, the nighttime display of the three bright outer planets becomes visible earlier in the evening. At this time, Jupiter is halfway up in the south, with the bright gibbous moon in the upper left. Saturn is at about the same altitude – height above the horizon – as Mars, but Saturn is to the southwest.
The four bright objects, along with dimmer Neptune and Uranus, are suspended in the sky by an arc of the ecliptic, the plane of the solar system.
By tomorrow morning, Mars remains in the western sky.
2022, November 5: Mars, morning stars, bright moon, evening planets
November 5, 2022: Mars, above the horns of Taurus, crowns a brilliant stellar assembly before daybreak. Jupiter, Saturn and the gibbous moon are visible after sunset.
2022, November 4: Striking Jupiter-Moon Conjunction, Morning Mars
November 4, 2022: During the evening hours, a bright Jupiter-Moon conjunction occurs. Before sunrise, Mars is above the horns of the bull – Elnath and Zeta Tauri.
2022, November 3: Morning Mars, Evening Moon, Jupiter, Saturn
November 3, 2022: Before daybreak, Mars is high in the western sky above the Horns of Taurus. After sunset, the gibbous moon lies between Jupiter and Saturn.