Venus ‘Kisses’ Jupiter And A Rare ‘Black Moon’ Eclipses The Sun: What To See In The Night Sky This Week

Each Monday I pick out the northern hemisphere’s celestial highlights (mid-northern latitudes) for the week ahead, but be sure to check my main feed for more in-depth articles on stargazing, astronomy, eclipses and more.

What To See In The Night Sky This Week: April 25-May 1, 2022

Two incredibly close conjunctions occur next weekend involving four of the most famous objects in our sky, but you’ll need to be up very early for one and in the right part of the world for the other.

Monday, April 25, 2022: A crescent Moon and Mars

Look southeast before sunrise today and you’ll see a 29%-lit crescent Moon close to Mars, the red planet.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022: A crescent Moon among the planets

Look southeast before sunrise today and you’ll see a 20%-lit crescent Moon between Mars and Venus.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022: A close conjunction of Venus, Jupiter and a crescent Moon

Look southeast before sunrise today and you’ll see a 12%-lit crescent Moon just below Jupiter and Venus, which will be very close together.

Friday, April 29, 2022: Mercury in the Pleiades

Look to the western sky immediately after sunset and you might just get a view of a rare conjunction of the planet Mercury and the sparkling open cluster, the Pleiades. It’s a rare sight that should have photographers scrambling.

Saturday, April 30, 2022: Venus meets Jupiter and 2022’s first solar eclipse

Look to the east before sunrise today to see Jupiter and Venus in a close conjunction, the closest they will be in 2022 at a mere 12’.

Today is also the day of 2022’s first solar eclipse, a partial affair that will see about 60% of the Sun covered by a “Black Moon,” though only to observers in Chile and Antarctica.

Constellation of the week: Coma Berenices

A simple L-shape for three stars, Coma Berenices is not an imaginative constellation. Sandwiched between Boötes, the Big Dipper and the tip of the tail of Leo, the lion, this constellation is relatively close to orange star Arcturus.

The brightest star in Coma Berenices is Beta Comae Berenices, the middle star, which is a mere 30 light years distant. However, sweep binoculars across it and you’ll come across 20 or so bright stars—and many dimmer stars—that are part of an open cluster called the Coma Star Cluster or Melotte 111.

It’s around 288 light years distant, making it one of the nearest star clusters to our Solar System.

Times and dates given apply to mid-northern latitudes. For the most accurate location-specific information consult online planetariums like Stellarium and The Sky Live. Check planet-rise/planet-set, sunrise/sunset and moonrise/moonset times for where you are.

Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.

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