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.
May 28, 2021: This evening Mercury passes brilliant Venus for the second of three conjunctions during this evening apparition of the second planet from the sun. Use a binocular about 45 minutes after sunset to see the speedy planet 0.4° to the lower left of Venus. This is the closest visible conjunction until 2033.
May 24, 2021: Morning planets Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeast before sunrise. In the evening sky, brilliant Evening Star Venus, Mercury, and Mars line up along the solar system’s plane. The bright moon is in the southeast near Zubenelgenubi, “the southern claw.”
May 23, 2021: Five bright planets parade across the sky. Jupiter and Saturn are visible before sunrise in the southeastern sky. The star Fomalhaut is becoming visible below bright Jupiter and near the horizon. After sundown, Evening Star Venus, Mercury, and Mars are in the western sky. The bright moon is in the southeastern sky during the nighttime hours.
May 22, 2021: Five planets parade across the sky. Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeast before sunrise. Evening Star Venus, Mercury and Mars are in the western sky after sunset. A bright moon is in the southeastern sky.
May 21, 2021: Three bright planets are dancing in the western sky after sundown. Evening Star Venus is entering the sky for a months-long residency after its solar conjunction two months ago. Mercury is heading for a conjunction with Venus after its best evening appearance of the year. Mars continues its eastward march in Gemini, but time is running out on its appearance as it approaches brighter evening twilight and a conjunction with Venus.