November 19, 2020: Brilliant Morning Star Venus, the star Spica, and Mercury are in the east- southeastern sky before sunrise.
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.
Brilliant Morning Star Venus – rising nearly 2 hours, 40 minutes before sunrise – is in the east-southeast as morning twilight brightens. This morning the planet is 5.0° to the lower left of Spica. With a binocular notice that it is 0.4° to the lower left of the star 82 Virginis (82 Vir on the chart).
At 45 minutes before sunrise, Mercury is over 13° to the lower left of Venus. It is low in the sky in the east-southeast, perhaps behind a neighbor’s house or other obstruction. It is bright enough to be seen without optical aid.
Detailed note: One hour before sunrise, Venus – over 16° in altitude in the east-southeast – is 5.0° to the lower left of Spica and 0.4° to the lower left of 82 Vir. The Venus – Mercury gap is 13.6° with Mercury to the lower left of the brilliant planet. Fifteen minutes later, Mercury is nearly 7° in altitude above the east-southeast horizon.
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.