November 19, 2020: The thick crescent moon is to the lower left of Saturn this evening. Jupiter continues to close the gap to Saturn as their Great Conjunction approaches on December 21, 2020. Mars is in the eastern sky among the dim stars of Pisces.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:46 a.m. CST; Sunset, 4:26 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
This evening the crescent moon – nearly 30% illuminated – is in the south-southwest, 5.4° to the lower left of Saturn. The Jupiter – Saturn gap has been reduced to 3.3°. Jupiter is to the lower right of Saturn.
Farther eastward, Mars is over one-third of the way up in the sky in the east-southeast, near the stars Epsilon Piscium (ε Psc on the chart) and Delta Piscium (δ Psc). The stars are dimmer than Mars and nearly form an equilateral triangle with the planet. A binocular helps see the planet in the starfield. Mars is 2.8° to the lower right of ε Psc and 2.9° to the lower left of δ Psc.
For more about Mars during November, see this article.
Detailed note: Saturn is 60° east of the sun. Find it near the crescent moon (4.8d, 28%), one hour after sunset. The moon is over 22° up in the south-southwest, 5.4° to the lower left of Saturn. The Jupiter – Saturn gap is 3.3°. The planetary duo’s place in the triangle with 56 Sgr continues to change each evening. This evening Saturn is 2.8° to the left of the star, while Jupiter is 2.1° below. Jupiter is 3.4° above 52 Sgr. Farther east, Mars is nearly 32° in altitude in the east-southeast, 2.8° to the lower right of ε Psc and 2.9° to the lower left of δ Psc.
Read more about the planets during November.
October 23, 2021: This morning the bright moon is near the Pleiades star cluster. Mercury is making its best morning appearance. In the evening sky, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn are easy to spot.
October 22. 2021: Speedy Mercury is low in the east before sunrise. It is putting on its best morning performance of the year. Arcturus, in the east-northeast, is about the same altitude as Mercury.
October 21-November 1, 2021: Brilliant Venus steps through Ophiuchus to the upper left of the star Antares in the southwest after sunset . Afterward, the planet steps farther eastward.
October 21, 2021: The bright moon is low in the west about an hour before sunrise. Mercury is in the east at about the same altitude as Arcturus. Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter shine from the evening sky.
December 18, 2021: This is the anticipated launch date of the James Webb Space Telescope, the largest and most sophisticated space telescope view the universe.