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).
In the morning before sunrise, the slightly gibbous moon is in Leo, between Regulus and Denebola. Brilliant Morning Star Venus is low in the southeast, stepping eastward in Virgo. With the Great Conjunction in two weeks, Jupiter is near Saturn in the southwest after sunset. Mars marches eastward among the stars of Pisces.
As morning twilight is in progress, the moon is high in the southwest among the stars of Leo. It is near the “Sickle of Leo. At the same hour Morning Star Venus is dancing eastward in Libran near Zubenelgenubi. In the evening Mars is in the southeast, marching eastward in Pisces. In the southwest, Jupiter approaches Saturn as a prelude to the Great Conjunction in 15 days.
During morning twilight brilliant Morning Star Venus shines from low in the east-southeast before sunrise as it steps eastward in front of the stars of Virgo. The gibbous moon lies in front of the stars of Cancer, between Leo and Gemini. In the evening sky. Jupiter continues to dance toward Saturn in a prelude to the Great Conjunction on December 21, 2020. In the east-southeast, Mars marches eastward among the dim stars of Pisces.