Monthly Notes

June 2, 2022

The planets visible to the naked eye, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn (in that order) are all visible in the east in the early morning when it is still dark and just before the Sun rises. Venus is very bright, followed by Jupiter but with Mars between and close to Jupiter. Saturn is much farther to the west almost at the top of the sky, but all four planets fall on a nice line or arc.

By September, Saturn and Jupiter will be visible in the evening sky but we have to wait until November to see Mars at which time it will be exceedingly bright because it will be close to Earth (be prepared for any invasion). It's about every two years that Earth and Mars get close to one another in their orbits and this is the best time to view Mars in small telescopes because surface coloration and/or a white pole are visible.

As an extra note, ALL of the planets are out in the morning sky including Mercury, Uranus, Neptune and even Pluto but you need a telescope to see these....well Mercury is bright enough to see with the naked eyes but it gets lost in the glow of the raising Sun.

June 3. Got up at 3:30 AM to get telescope ready to observe all 8 planets (Earth was easy but hard to see in the dark). Used my "automated" scope to find Mercury, Uranus and Neptune. The others, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn were visible to the naked eyes but I looked at them through the scope, too. Mercury proved to be the most difficult. At magnitude +2.2 and in the morning glow of the rising Sun, I could just see it against a lightened sky. My daughter and wife saw all of them, too. Beautifu morning in southern Arizona.

The Pleiades or Seven Sisters

The Pleiades sorta looks like a little dipper. It is small in the sky and initially looks like a fuzzy spot to the eyes. Great in binoculars.

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