Fri., May 20 5:17 7:58
Sat., May 21 5:16 7:59
Sun., May 22 5:16 8:00
Mon., May 23 5:15 8:01
Tues., May 24 5:14 8:02
Wed., May 25 5:13 8:03
Thurs., May 26 5:13 8:04
Fri., May 27 5:12 8:05
These three planets appear close together in the early morning sky, if you are up at or before dawn and have a good view of the southeastern horizon. The bright planet Venus is the easiest to see. Mars is above and to the east of Venus. Mercury is below Venus.
The planets are in motion and have a slightly different position each morning. By Monday night, Mars will appear directly above Venus. Later in the coming week, Mars appears higher and farther west of Venus.
Mercury is visible only for a short time. By the end of this month, the planet will descend into the glare of the rising sun.
Jupiter is in the mix but farther aloft, high in the east. Slightly fainter than Venus, Jupiter appears up above and to the right of that planet.
By June, Mars slips in between Venus and Jupiter. A thin crescent moon joins the gathering at the end of the month.
This columnist will join other Island citizen scientist exhibitors tomorrow at Felix Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, in Edgartown. I will feature two telescopes and will share information about backyard astronomy. The festival is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.