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2020, November 11: Morning Crescent, Planets

Crescent Moon, Venus, Aldebaran, July 17, 2020

2020, July 17: The crescent moon, Venus, and Aldebaran in the eastern sky before sunrise.

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2020, November 11: One hour before sunrise, the waning crescent moon – 37.0° up in the east-southeast – is 9.5° to the lower right of Denebola. The lunar crescent is nearly 20° to the upper right of brilliant Venus.

The thin crescent moon shines in the east-southeast this morning above Venus before sunrise.  The brilliant planet is slowly stepping eastward in Virgo.  At about 45 minutes Mercury appears to the lower left of Venus.  In the evening sky, bright Mars shines from the eastern sky as Jupiter dances toward Saturn in the south-southwest as a prelude to their Great Conjunction on December 21, 2020.

by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Chicago, Illinois:  Sunrise, 6:36 a.m. CST; Sunset, 4:33 p.m. CST.  Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.

Morning: As the sky brightens before sunrise, look for the crescent moon, nearly half way up in the sky above the east-southeast horizon.  It is nearly 10° to the lower right of Denebola.

2020, November 11: The crescent moon, Venus, Mercury, and Spica are visible about 45 minutes before sunrise in the east-southeastern sky. Bright Mercury is visible to the lower left of Spica.

The crescent moon is nearly 20° above brilliant Venus.  The planet is stepping eastward in Virgo.  At about 45 minutes before sunrise, bright Mercury is visible to the lower left of Spica.  Venus is approaching the star for a widely spaced conjunction in a few mornings.

Morning detailed note: One hour before sunrise, the moon (26.7d, 19%) – 37.0° up in the east-southeast – is 9.5° to the lower right of Denebola.  The lunar crescent is nearly 20° to the upper right of brilliant Venus. The planet – over 18° up in the east – is 7.5° above Spica and 0.9° to the upper right of Theta Virginis (θ Vir, m = 4.4).  Mercury (m = −0.7) is 7.8° to the lower left of Spica.  By 45 minutes before sunrise, the speedy planet is over 9° up in the east-southeast.

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

2020, November 11: Mars is 3.3° to the lower right of Epsilon Piscium (ε Psc) and 3.3° below Delta Piscium (δ Psc). They make a nice equilateral triangle when viewed through a binocular.
2020, November 11: Mars is 3.3° to the lower right of Epsilon Piscium (ε Psc) and 3.3° below Delta Piscium (δ Psc). They make a nice equilateral triangle when viewed through a binocular.

Evening: Bright rusty Mars continues to retrograde in Pisces, although it is slowing to resume its normal eastward march.  Use a binocular to observe it 3.3° to the lower right of Epsilon Piscium (ε Psc on the chart) and 3.3° below Delta Piscium (δ Psc).  The trio makes a nice equilateral triangle.

2020, November 11: One hour after sunset, Jupiter is over 23° up in the south-southwest. Saturn is 4.1° to Jupiter’s upper left. The giant planet pair is near 56 Sgr. Jupiter is 3.1° to the lower right of the star, while Saturn is 2.4° to the star’s lower left. Jupiter is 2.5° to the upper left of 50 Sgr.
2020, November 11: Jupiter is over 23° up in the south-southwest. Saturn is 4.1° to Jupiter’s upper left. The giant planet pair is near 56 Sgr. Jupiter is 3.1° to the lower right of the star, while Saturn is 2.4° to the star’s lower left. Jupiter is 2.5° to the upper left of 50 Sgr.

Bright Jupiter is less than a third of the way up in the south-southwest as the sky darkens.  Saturn, dimmer than its giant planet companion, is 4.1° to the upper left of the Jovian Giant.  With a binocular make nightly observations of the planets’ eastward motion in eastern Sagittarius.  Notice their nightly change of position compared to the star 56 Sagittarii (56 Sgr on the chart).  This evening Jupiter is 3.1° to the lower right of the star while Saturn is 2.4° to the star’s lower left.  Jupiter is also 2.5° to the upper left of 50 Sagittarii (50 Sgr).  Jupiter sets about 8:35 p.m. CST – over four hours after sunset.  Saturn follows several minutes later.

For more about Mars during November, see this article.

Evening detailed note: One hour after sunset, Mars – 27.0° in altitude in the east-southeast – is 3.3° to the lower right of ε Psc and 3.3° below δ Psc.  Farther west, Jupiter is over 23° up in the south-southwest.  Saturn is 4.1° to Jupiter’s upper left.  The giant planet pair is near 56 Sgr.  Jupiter is 3.1° to the lower right of the star, while Saturn is 2.4° to the star’s lower left.  Jupiter is 2.5° to the upper left of 50 Sgr.

For more about the Great Conjunction, read our feature article. This is the closest Jupiter – Saturn conjunction since 1623.

Read more about the planets during November.

2021, December 29: Moon Nears Scorpion, Venus Departs

December 29, 2021: The morning crescent moon approaches Scorpius and Mars.  In the evening sky, four evening planets – Venus, Mercury, Saturn, and Jupiter – are lined up in the southwest.  Venus is rapidly leaving the evening sky.

2021, December 28:  Venus Slips, Mercury Hops

December 28, 2021:  Brilliant Venus is quickly slipping from the evening sky.  Mercury appears beneath Venus after sunset.  This duo is joined by Jupiter and Saturn.  In the morning, Mars is near Antares and the moon near Spica.

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