Two Highlights at March 28 Sunrise

In the morning twilight of Monday, March 28, 2022, observers can witness two celestial highlights--a multi-planet conjunction and a chance to see Venus in the daytime sky.


Illustration of March 28 conjunction

Low in the southeast, a waning crescent moon is on the rise with three planets nearby. Brilliant Venus dominates the trio, with Saturn and Mars below and to the right of Venus, respectively. If the weather is expected to be cloudy on Monday, check out the scene the mornings before when the moon will be slightly to the west and moving eastward daily.

Venus visible above crescent moon.

While you're looking at the moon-Venus pair on March 28, keep an eye on Venus as the dawn brightens. The two are separated by about seven degrees, less than the width of your fist held at arm's length. Soon will come an opportunity to witness something few people have ever seen. After the sun rises and into the early morn, Venus may be visible by day!


Venus is admittedly hard to find as the blue sky brightens, but with the moon guiding you and using your morning experience, you know it's there.


The image shows the separation of the moon and Venus on February 27, 2022, when Venus was at magnitude= -4.6. Then, it was near its brightest point in its orbit around the sun. This time, Venus is slightly fainter at magnitude= -4.3, but still worth the hunt.


Saturn and Mars are currently like twins at about first magnitude, while Jupiter, bringing up the rear of the planet parade just before the sun, is brighter at magnitude= -2.0. When the sun comes up, its brightness is a whopping magnitude= -26.7 on the logarithmic scale.


You can find Venus in the day when it's at its brightest--about a month after greatest eastern elongation for the evening sky and a month before greatest western elongation in the morning sky. See excellent EarthSky description. But it helps when the moon is nearby for reference.


As mentioned, few people have seen Venus in the daytime sky, with a notable exception being during a rare transit of Venus, when Venus passes in front of the daytime sun. That next easy opportunity, however, won't happen until December 2117.





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