Morning Planets Venus and Mars shine brightly in the sky before sunrise. Venus is low in the east, while Mars is in the southern sky.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Venus is now in Gemini, moving through the constellation for the remainder of August. In the starfield, it is 2.5° to the lower right of Mu Geminorum (μ Gem on the photo), 4.6° above Gamma Geminorum (γ Gem), and 0.7° to the upper right of Nu Geminorum (ν Gem). The crescent moon (24.7d, 24%) is over 13° above Venus. (See this article about this morning’s scene with the moon and Venus.)
Mars is high in the southern sky among dim stars in Pisces. During the next several weeks, Mars is near the three stars marked in the photograph above.
This morning the Red Planet is 1.0° to the lower left of Mu Piscium (μ Psc) and 2.4° to the right of Nu Piscium (ν Psc).
Mars continues to March eastward in Pisces until next month when it reverses its apparent direction in the sky. Watch it move away from μ Psc and pass ν Psc. On October 6, Mars is closest to Earth during this Martian appearance in the morning sky. At that time, it is near μ Psc again. A week later, Mars is to the right of the star. On that morning, Mars and the sun are in opposite directions in our sky.
This evening, locate Jupiter and Saturn in the southeastern sky after sunset.
Tomorrow morning, Venus and the crescent moon make a beautiful. Get your camera ready!
The first sightings of Sirius by the unaided eye occur during the next few mornings about 45 minutes before sunrise.
Here is a daily summary about the planets during August.
April 19, 2021: The first evening appearance of Venus for this apparition occurs this evening. Look for it low in the west-northwest about 20 minutes after sunset.
April 19, 2021: Venus begins to appear in the west after sunset. The moon lines up with Pollux and Castor, while Mars is above Bull’s horns in the western evening sky.
April 19, 2021: The bright morning planets, Jupiter and Saturn, are in the southeastern sky before sunrise. Capricornus is the starry background for this giant planet duo.
April 18, 2021: The crescent moon is high in the west after sunset among the stars of Gemini, below Pollux and Castor. Mars is above the Bull’s horns. Daylight is 13 hours, 30 minutes long.
April 18, 2021: The bright morning planets, Jupiter and Saturn, are in the southeastern sky before sunrise. Capricornus is the starry background for this giant planet duo. Daylight is 13 hours, 30 minutes long.