The Moon Shines With Jupiter, Saturn And Mars
In May, skywatchers will have an opportunity to see the Moon and three bright planets – the gas giant Jupiter, the ringed Saturn and the red planet Mars – together in the predawn sky. Our natural satellite will pay a visit to each of the planets. Read on to find more information about these celestial events and get observing tips.
If you would like to determine the best time for viewing these or any other astronomical events from your location, use the stargazing app Star Walk 2. Quickly check the rise and set times for the Moon and planets in your area and easily find them in the sky.
The Moon, trio of planets before sunrise
On the mornings of May 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 and 16, 2020, the Moon and three brilliant planets – Jupiter, Saturn, Mars – will appear together in the sky. Early risers from all over the world can enjoy this wonderful celestial scenery before sunrise and take interesting photographs.
In the predawn sky on Monday, May 11, the Moon will be closer to the dazzling, white Jupiter, which is the brightest planet of the trio and the 4th brightest object in the sky after the Sun, the Moon and Venus. Golden Saturn and reddish Mars will continue the line.
The three bright morning planets will be visible to the naked eye. Distant Neptune will also share the sky with the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars, but you will need a telescope to see it.
Close approach of the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn
Continuing its trip past morning planets, the Moon will sit even closer to the brilliant Jupiter in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday, May 12. That morning, the three objects – the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn will make a close approach in the sky.
This is a naked-eye sight, but a pair of binoculars can help you see the difference in the colors of Jupiter and Saturn and admire the lunar surface. If you want to see Saturn’s rings, don't forget to grab a telescope. On May 17-18, Saturn and Jupiter will appear close to each other again, this time without the Moon.
From Tuesday, May 12, the moon will start moving towards the red planet Mars.
The Moon visits Mars
On the mornings of May 14 and 15, find the Moon near Mars. After visiting the gas giants, the Moon will make the closest encounter with the red planet in the pre-dawn hours of Friday, May 15. Both objects will lie in the constellation Aquarius and will be visible to the unaided eye.
Jupiter and Saturn will still be visible in the same part of the sky, offering another beautiful photo opportunity.
The Moon with three planets: once again
The last chance to see the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars close together in the sky this month will be before sunrise on Saturday, May 16. At this time, the Moon will appear on the opposite side of the line of planets, near to Mars.
Find out the best viewing time for your location in the Star Walk 2 app and enjoy the celestial view.