Fri., April 29 4:41 6:37
Sat., April 30 4:40 6:38
Sun., May 1 4:38 6:39
Mon., May 2 4:37 6:40
Tues., May 3 4:36 6:41
Wed., May 4 4:34 6:42
Thurs., May 5 4:33 6:43
Fri., May 6 4:32 6:44
The morning sky is loaded with planets. For those who rise well before the sun, say 4 a.m., there is a show of planets hovering in the southeastern sky. Venus, Mars, Mercury and Jupiter are in a tight nest with the thin crescent moon. The time to look is about a half-hour before sunrise, although you will need a cloudless eastern horizon to see them all.
If you miss it tomorrow morning, there is a better chance on Sunday morning, when the moon is closer to the assembly. The planets hover together for a good part of the coming month, but the fast-moving crescent moon is the only short-term visitor.
Stay tuned. On any morning in the month ahead, the planets will be fairly close together. The one missing visible planet is Saturn, which appears in the evening sky.
Jupiter, Mars, Venus and Mercury are in the zodiacal constellations Pisces and Aries. It would be interesting to hear what an astrologer has to say about this assembly.
How do you tell the difference among all these planets this weekend? Venus is the brightest of them all. The second brightest is Jupiter, which is right near the much-fainter Mars. Mercury hovers between Jupiter and Venus. Astronomers say binoculars are probably necessary, as the light of the rising sun will make the view tough.