November 23 2020: Brilliant Morning Star Venus and Mercury shine from the east-southeast before sunrise. Venus is stepping eastward in Virgo, to the lower left of Spica. Mercury is becoming more difficult to see as it shines from near the horizon to the lower left of Zubenelgenubi.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:50 a.m. CST; Sunset, 4:24 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
About an hour before sunrise, Venus is low in the east-southeast. It is stepping eastward in Virgo, to the lower left of Spica. It is near the dim star Kappa Virginis (κ Vir). Mercury is completing its best morning appearance of the year, and shines from low in the east-southeast, nearly 15° to the lower left of Venus.
Looking through a binocular, you can see Venus 2.6° to the upper right of κ Vir, while Mercury is 2.1° to the lower left of Zubenelgenubi.
Look for Mercury about 45 minutes before sunrise. It is very low in the east-southeast.
Detailed note: One hour before sunrise, Venus is 15.0° in altitude in the east-southeast, 2.6° to the upper right of κ Vir. Fifteen minutes later, Mercury is nearly 5° up in the east-southeast, 2.1° to the lower left of Zubenelgenubi. The Venus – Mercury gap is 14.7°.
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.