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2020, November 20: Venus, Speedy Mercury in Morning Sky

Venus, Moon and Spica, November 12, 2020

2020, November 12: One hour before sunrise, brilliant Venus is 0.3° to the lower left of Theta Virginis (θ Vir) in the east-southeastern sky. The crescent moon is 6.5° above Venus and 2.9° to the lower left of Gamma Virginis (γ Vir). Spica is 6.5° to the lower right of Venus, Mercury is hidden by clouds.

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2020, November 20: Before sunrise, bright Venus is low in the east-southeast, 5.8° to the lower left of Spica. Mercury is low in the sky above Zubenelgenubi.

November 20, 2020: Brilliant Venus continues to shine in the east-southeast before sunrise.  Catch Mercury before it disappears back into bright twilight and the sun’s glare.  It is approaching Zubenelgenubi.

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.

2020, November 20: Before sunrise, bright Venus is low in the east-southeast, 5.8° to the lower left of Spica. Mercury is low in the sky.

This morning brilliant Venus continues to sparkle in the southeastern sky before sunrise.  It continues to move eastward in Virgo.  Spot it each morning compared to the star Spica.  This morning the star is nearly 6° to the upper right of the planet.

Mercury is nearing the end of its best morning appearance of the year.  Look about 45 minutes before sunrise when it is about 6° up in the east-southeast.  It is beginning to approach Zubenelgenubi – the Northern Claw.  The star is dim and below the speedy planet.  You’ll need a very clear horizon to see the planet.  Use a binocular to spot the star.

Detailed note: One hour before sunrise, Venus is over 16° in altitude above the east-southeast horizon, 5.8° below Spica and 1.7° to the lower left of 82 Vir.  Through a telescope the planet is 12.1” across and 86% illuminated, a morning gibbous phase. Mercury is nearly 14° to the lower left of Venus.   Forty-five minutes before sunrise, the speedy planet is over 6° up in the east-southeast. Use a binocular to spot Zubenelgenubi (α Lib, m = 2.8), 3.1° below Mercury. 

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.

2021, October 29 – November 1, Lion Moon

October 29 – November 1, 2021:  The crescent moon moves in front of the stars of Leo in the eastern sky before sunrise.  Watch the moon appear lower and the phase shrink (wane) each morning. Also note that there is no Full moon on Halloween this year!

2021, October 25:  Caught Between the Horns

October 25, 2021: This morning the bright gibbous moon seems to be caught between the horns of Taurus.  Mercury is making its best morning appearance.  The planet pack – Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn are in the evening sky.

2021, October 24: Saturn Inches Toward Jupiter

October 24, 2021:  Saturn is at its closest to Jupiter as the Jovian Giant picks up eastward speed.  The morning moon and Mercury are visible before sunrise.  Brilliant Evening Star Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter are in the sky after sunset.

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