Venus and Mars shine from the morning sky before sunrise. Venus moves into Orion, while Mars marches eastward in Pisces.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
This morning – over 90 minutes before sunrise – brilliant Venus is on its first day of eight days touring the northern reaches of Orion, in the Hunter’s club. This morning Venus is 1.1° to the upper right of the star Chi1 Orionis (χ1 Ori on the photo) and 3.3° below Zeta Tauri (ζ Tau), the Southern Horn of Taurus. With a binocular watch Venus pass χ1 Ori and move toward Chi2 Orionis (χ2 Ori).
Through a telescope the planet’s is a thick morning crescent phase that is slightly less than half full.
Farther westward, Mars is high in the south-southeast, marching through the dim stars of Pisces. This morning it is 0.5° to the upper left of 89 Piscium (89 Psc) and 3.4° to the lower right of Mu Piscium (μ Psc).
The bright moon appears farther west in this morning sky. The moon appears with Mars on the evening of August 8 and morning of August 9.
Earth passes between Mars and the sun on October 13, 2020.
At this hour Jupiter and Saturn are below the horizon in the southwest. In the hours following sunset, look for them in the southern sky.
Here is a daily summary about the planets during August.
December 23, 2023: Look for the planet Uranus and the Pleiades star cluster through a binocular during nighttime hours.
December 22, 2023: Mercury is between Earth and Sun, known as inferior conjunction. Jupiter and the gibbous moon are celestial companions during nighttime hours.
December 21, 2023: Winter begins in the northern hemisphere. Jupiter and Saturn are visible in the evening sky three years after their Great Conjunction.