Home > Ephemeris Program, Planets > 05/04/2022 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

05/04/2022 – Ephemeris – Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week

May 4, 2022

This is Ephemeris for Wednesday, May 4th. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 23 minutes, setting at 8:51, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:27. The Moon, halfway from new to first quarter, will set at 1:03 tomorrow morning.

Let’s search for the naked-eye planets for this week. There is one bright planet in the evening sky. Mercury may be spotted around and after 10 this evening very low in the west-northwest and be visible for the next half hour or so before it sets at 10:40 pm. After that, the planet action shifts to the morning sky. The other 4 naked-eye planets are there. By 5:30 or 5:45 am, the planets will be spread out low from the east to southeast with brilliant Venus lowest in the east, higher and right is Jupiter. Dim Mars will be farther to the right and a bit above Jupiter, while brighter Saturn will be even farther right and above Mars. All four will have risen by 5 am, but it will take a very low eastern horizon to pick them all up at that time.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EDT, UT – 4 hours). They may be different for your location.


Mercury in evening twilight

Mercury in evening twilight, with competition from bright winter stars and the Moon at 10 pm, or about an hour after sunset. It might take a pair of binoculars to pick Mercury out of twilight.
Created using Stellarium.

Binocular Moon

The Moon as it might appear in binoculars tonight, showing earth shine. May 4, 2022. Created using Stellarium.

Morning planet parade

The morning planet parade is widening as Venus is moving away from Jupiter, and Mars is approaching the giant planet. These are shown at 5:30 am, or about an hour before sunrise. Created using Stellarium.

Telescopic views of Venus, Saturn and Jupiter

Views of Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn (north up) as they would be seen in a small telescope, with the same magnification, tomorrow morning at 5:30 am, May 5, 2022. I do not show planets less than 10 seconds of arc in diameter. Apparent diameters: Venus 16.33″, 68.7% illuminated; Saturn 16.60″, its rings 38.67″; Jupiter 35.09″. Mars is not shown, its apparent diameter is 5.84″ and is 89.1% illuminated. Mercury, in the evening, has an apparent diameter of 9.21″, and it’s 22.2% illuminated. The ” symbol means seconds of arc (1/3600th of a degree.) Created using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts).

Planets and the Moon on a single night

The naked-eye planets and the Moon at sunset and sunrise on a single night, starting with sunset on the right on May 4, 2022. The night ends on the left with sunrise on the 5th. Notice that all the naked-eye planets except Mercury are in the morning sky now. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using my LookingUp program.

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