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.
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).
December 11, 2020: The Great Conjunction countdown: 10 days! Jupiter and Saturn are low in the southwest as night falls. Jupiter continues to close the gap to the Ringed Wonder. Farther eastward, Mars marches eastward in Pisces.
December 11, 2020: As sunrise approaches, the crescent moon is to the upper right of the brilliant planet Venus.
December 10, 2020: The Great Conjunction countdown: 11 days. Jupiter and Saturn are in the southwest as night falls. Bright Mars is in the southeast.