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.
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!
October 26, 27, and 28, 2021: During the early morning hours, the bright gibbous moon appears in front of Gemini’s stars.
October 26, 2021: Mercury is at its greatest morning appearance for the year. Look low in the east-southeast before sunrise.
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.
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.