Brilliant Morning Star Venus shines as “the bright star in the eastern sky before sunrise.” The planet is near the star Spica. Mercury joins Venus, but it is lower in the sky.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:43 a.m. CST; Sunset, 4:28 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Brilliant Venus and Mercury continue to appear in the east-southeast before sunrise. Mercury is heading back into the sun’s glare as it widens its gap to Venus. This morning the morning planets are over 13° apart.
Yesterday, Venus passed Spica, in a widely spaced conjunction, but the two are slightly farther apart this morning, 3.9°. Continue to watch Venus step eastward compared to the stars.
Find a clear horizon to see Mercury.
Detailed note: One hour before sunrise, Venus is less than 17° in altitude above the east-southeast horizon. The brilliant planet is 3.9° to the upper left of Spica. The Venus – Mercury gap continues to widen. This morning they are 13.1° apart. Fifteen minutes later, Mercury is over 7° up in the east-southeast.
Read more about the planets during November.
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.