The five bright planets are scattered widely around the circle, so that we are in an arid period for conjunctions between them. The last was when Venus passed Mars on February 2; the next will be when Mercury comes around in front of Mars on June 28. At present, Mars is the only planet in the sunset scene. Jupiter is higher, not long past its opposition. Saturn is in the high morning sky, rising before midnight. Venus and Mercury – to the “right” (west) of the sun – are in the morning twilight.
Bottom line: A view of our solar system, as seen from earthly north, for May 2017. Illustration by Guy Ottewell.
Astronomer, artist and poet Guy Ottewell's beloved Astronomical Calendar ended its yearly print run in 2016, its 43rd year. Visit Guy’s website UniversalWorkshop.com or his blog at UniversalWorkshop.com/Guysblog. You can also find times for over 600 astronomical events, such as planets’ oppositions and conjunctions, the moon’s phases, eclipses, equinoxes and solstices, meteor showers, and more at https://www.universalworkshop.com/astronomical-calendar-any-year. Guy's stories and art are used here with permission. Thank you, Guy!