On the morning of April 30th, 2022 I started a first attempt to observe the encounter of the planets Venus and Jupiter. Most part of the sky was clear, but the humidity was increased, which of course can affect observations close to the horizon. But since the starry sky was mostly visible, I of course wanted to give it a try and then left the house at around 5.25 a.m. I walked to a field edge which was about 5 minutes to walk from the house and had a good view to the east. To the east, the corresponding sky area was partly cloudy, but the two planets then appeared, Jupiter to the left of Venus. Due to the proximity to the horizon and the high humidity, the planets shimmered in orange-yellow hues. However, due to their brightness, they were easy to see despite the onset of dawn. Unfortunately, it is not so easy to find nice motifs here in my place of residence, but at least in the vicinity of trees, I was able to take a few great photos.
Despite contradicting forecasts from the weather models for the morning of May 1st, 2022, I ventured an observation attempt here as well. A first look out of the window also showed a starry sky here, so that I made my way to the edge of the field again at around 5.30 a.m. Dense clouds only appeared in the area of the coal factory to the north, but they only spread very slowly in a southeasterly direction. So these clouds were not a problem and to the east there were only thinner clouds just above the horizon. But already at 5.35 a.m. both planets could easily be seen above this thin cloud layer. With only 0°20′ apparent optical distance in the sky, the two planets really made a great pair and I was very happy that the weather was still so good. Gradually, however, the clouds from the north-west moved more and more towards the south-east and also some new clouds also formed. At 5.52 a.m. both planets disappeared behind clouds, so that then I stopped the observation. It was a nice close encounter of the planets and I was lucky with the weather again. Below you can see some photos from the two mornings:
1st May 2022 – Apparent visually distance: 00°20′
30th April 2022 – Apparent visually distance: 00°42′
On April 30th, 2022 and May 1st, 2022, the two bright planets Venus and Jupiter are close to each other in the sky, at least apparently. Due to the brightness of the two planets (Venus has -4.1 Mag and Jupiter has -2.1 Mag) the observation should not be particularly difficult, even if the two are relatively close to the horizon. On April 30th, 2022 you can start the observation around 5 a.m., because maybe there will already be great motives with buildings or trees when the planets are rising. At 5.50 a.m. the Sun will be only -3° below the horizon, making it harder to find the planets from here. These are then almost 10° above the horizon. It is therefore worthwhile to start observing this encounter as early as possible. On April 30th, 2022, Venus and Jupiter will have an apparent distance of 0°42′ in the sky. On May 1st, 2022, of course, not much will change in terms of the observation period. But the planets will be even closer together, with an apparent distance of only 0°20′. You will not need any tools to find the planets if you start observing early, since Venus is always very easy to see due to its brightness. If you have found Venus, then of course the planet Jupiter. With the apparent distance of only 0°20′ you can also think about owning some telescope with not too much focal length, with which you can then observe and record both planets.
I wish you a lot of fun and success in observing this beautiful encounter!