Astronomy

2020, November 17: Morning Star Venus and Mercury

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2020, November 17: Looking east-southeast at 45 minutes before sunrise, Mercury is about 7° in altitude and over 13° to the lower left of Venus.

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.

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

Read more about the planets during November.

Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

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