November 20, 2020: After sunset, bright rusty Mars is in the east-southeast in front of the dim stars of Pisces. This evening the thick crescent moon is east of the Jupiter-Saturn pair. Jupiter continues to close the gap to Saturn as a runup to their Great Conjunction on December 21, 2020.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:47 a.m. CST; Sunset, 4:26 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
One hour after sunset, bright rusty Mars is over one-third of the way up in the sky in the east-southeast. It is slowly moving eastward among the dim stars of Pisces. Use a binocular to spot it 2.7° to the lower right of Epsilon Piscium (ε Psc on the chart) and 2.9° to the lower left of Delta Piscium (δ Psc).
Jupiter – over 80° to the west of Mars – is low in the south-southwest. Jupiter continues to close the gap to Saturn as a prelude to their Great Conjunction on December 21, 2020. Saturn is 3.2° to the upper left of Jupiter.
The moon – nearly 40% illuminated and in front of the stars of Capricornus – is over 20° to the upper left of Jupiter. Notice that the moon’s brightness is casting shadows on the ground.
Use a binocular to note that Jupiter and Saturn are dancing past the star 56 Sagittarii (56 Sgr on the chart). Jupiter is 2.0° below the star while Saturn is 2.9° to the upper left it. Jupiter is 3.5° to the upper left of 52 Sgr.
For more about Mars during November, see this article.
Detailed note: One hour after sunset, Mars – over 32° up in the east-southeast – is 2.7° to the lower right of ε Psc and 2.9° to the lower left of δ Psc. Jupiter – 81.4° of ecliptic longitude west of Mars – is nearly 22° up in the south-southwest, 3.2° to the lower right of Saturn. In the starfield, the Jovian Giant is 2.0° below 56 Sgr, while Saturn is 2.9° to the left of the star. Jupiter is 3.5° to the upper left of 52 Sgr. The moon (5.8d, 38%) – over 17° to the upper left of Saturn – is nearly 27° up in the south. In Capricornus, the lunar crescent is 9.6° to the lower right of Delta Capricorni (δ Cap, m = 2.8).
Read more about the planets during November.
November 8, 2021: Brilliant Evening Star and the crescent moon shine among the stars of Sagittarius after sunset. Bright Mercury is a challenging view before sunrise.
November 7, 2021: During the early evening Venus and the moon group together in the southwest.
November 6, 2021: The midpoint of Autumn occurs today.
November 3, 2021: Before sunrise speedy planet Mercury, the crescent moon, and the star Spica are grouped together. The trio does not appear this close together again until 2033.
October 31, 2021: There is no Halloween Full moon this year, and the phase is not close. The crescent moon is in the morning sky. Mercury is low in the east-southeast before sunrise. The planet pack – Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter – gleam in the evening sky.