Crescent moon and Jupiter
Jupiter is the 2nd-brightest planet seen from Earth, after Venus. And it’s the one seen night planet in early February 2022. You’ll discover it within the sundown route, nonetheless shining brightly, however now very close to the sundown glare. By mid-February, you would possibly nonetheless spot Jupiter, simply above the sundown horizon, in very brilliant twilight, shortly after the sun goes down. In the times and weeks after that, the large planet will develop into misplaced within the sundown glare.
Before it disappears, on the night of February 2, 2022, be sure you look exterior to catch the younger moon – a waxing crescent – hanging close to Jupiter within the twilight sky.
Jupiter will attain its superior conjunction (when it’s most straight behind the sun as seen from Earth) on March 5, 2022.
Where is Saturn?
And Saturn? Jupiter’s companion on our sky’s dome all through 2021? Where has Saturn gone? Saturn will attain its superior conjunction on February 4. That’s when it and the sun have the identical right ascension (form of like longitude on an imaginary grid within the sky) on our sky’s dome. In different phrases, in February, the sun and Saturn are touring collectively throughout the sky in the course of the day. Why? Because the planet Saturn is touring behind the sun as seen from the planet Earth (it’s an outer planet, and might by no means be between us and the sun).
Saturn has been gone from our night sky since about mid-January. We received’t see it once more till it returns to the daybreak sky in March.
By April 2022 mornings, we’ll see each Saturn and Jupiter within the east earlier than daybreak, starting their 2022 cycle of visibility in our sky. This cycle for these outer planets, by the best way, is pushed largely by the size of Earth’s year-long orbit across the sun.
When are Jupiter and Saturn finest in 2022?
In 2022, Saturn will attain its opposition – when Earth passes between it and the sun – on August 14. Jupiter’s opposition will come on September 26. It’s round these dates that these planets can be closest to Earth – at their brightest – for 2022. And it’s round then that each planets can be up all night time (or near it).
Bottom line: The moon and Jupiter can be low within the twilight on the night of February 2, 2022. After this, someday this month, Jupiter will slip into the sun’s glare, to not re-emerge within the east earlier than daybreak till round April 2022.