2020 October 30: Gibbous Moon with Mars, Morning Star Venus

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2020 October 30: In the western sky, the gibbous moon appears 7.2° to the upper left of Mars (composite image).

The bright gibbous moon is near the moon and Morning Star Venus sparkles in the east before sunrise. Venus is “that bright star” in the east during morning twilight.

by Jeffrey L. Hunt

About 4 a.m. CDT, the moon appeared 7.2° to the upper left of Mars.  The sky cleared during the night, revealing a bright morning with the moon in the west.  Orion and Sirius are in the south.

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.

2020, October 30: Before sunrise, Venus – shining from the east-southeast – is 2.1° above Eta Virginis (η Vir on the photo) and 5.5° to the lower left of Beta Virginis (β Vir).

Later, after the moon set, Venus sparkled in the east.  The date is nearing when Mars sets before Venus rises.

Venus is stepping eastward among the stars of Virgo.  This morning, it is 2.1° above Eta Virginis (η Vir on the photo) and 5.5° to the lower left of Beta Virginis (β Vir).

See our summary about Venus during October 2020 and the feature article  about Venus as a Morning Star.

Read more about the planets during October and November.

2021, May 28: Close Venus – Mercury Conjunction

May 28, 2021:  This evening Mercury passes brilliant Venus for the second of three conjunctions during this evening apparition of the second planet from the sun.  Use a binocular about 45 minutes after sunset to see the speedy planet 0.4° to the lower left of Venus.  This is the closest visible conjunction until 2033.

2021, May 24: Planets in a Plane

May 24, 2021: Morning planets Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeast before sunrise.  In the evening sky, brilliant Evening Star Venus, Mercury, and Mars line up along the solar system’s plane.  The bright moon is in the southeast near Zubenelgenubi, “the southern claw.”

2021, May 23: Planet Parade Marches On

May 23, 2021:  Five bright planets parade across the sky.  Jupiter and Saturn are visible before sunrise in the southeastern sky.  The star Fomalhaut is becoming visible below bright Jupiter and near the horizon.   After sundown, Evening Star Venus, Mercury, and Mars are in the western sky.  The bright moon is in the southeastern sky during the nighttime hours.

2021, May 22: Parading Five Planets

May 22, 2021: Five planets parade across the sky.  Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeast before sunrise. Evening Star Venus, Mercury and Mars are in the western sky after sunset.  A bright moon is in the southeastern sky.

2021, May 21: Evening Planet Ballet

May 21, 2021: Three bright planets are dancing in the western sky after sundown.  Evening Star Venus is entering the sky for a months-long residency after its solar conjunction two months ago.  Mercury is heading for a conjunction with Venus after its best evening appearance of the year.  Mars continues its eastward march in Gemini, but time is running out on its appearance as it approaches brighter evening twilight and a conjunction with Venus.



Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

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