Bright Mars shines from Pisces in the west, while Morning Star Venus appears in the eastern sky before sunrise.
By Jeffrey L. Hunt
Bright Mars shines from the western sky this morning from the stars of Pisces. Now past its closest approach to Earth and its opposition with the sun, the planet shines in the sky nearly all night.
The Red Planet is nearing its opposition with Venus. After that date, Mars sets before Venus rises.
This morning Mars is 1.2° below dim 80 Piscium (80 Psc on the photo) and 3.1° to the lower left of Epsilon Piscium (ε Psc).
Mars is retrograding – moving westward compared to the background stars. This is an illusion from Earth passing and moving away from the planet. Mars resumes its eastward motion compared to the stars on November 13.
As morning twilight progresses, brilliant Venus rises higher in the east. It is stepping eastward in the stars of Virgo. It is 3.1° to the lower left of Beta Virginis (β Vir on the photo) and 4.6° to the upper right of Eta Virginis (η Vir).
October 9, 2021: Look for brilliant Venus, crescent moon, and the head of Scorpius in the southwest after sunset. About every eight years, Venus and the moon appear near the head of the Scorpion after sunset. Look for them about 45 minutes after sunset.
October 1, 2021: Before sunrise, the lunar crescent is near the Beehive star cluster.
Newly released analysis from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows that the Arabia Terra region on Mars experienced powerful volcanic eruptions.
September 30, 2021: An hour before sunrise, the crescent moon is near the Gemini Twins.
September 29, 2021: The thick crescent moon is in the southeast before sunrise, approaching the middle of Gemini. The evening planet pack is visible after sunset.