November 24, 2020: Brilliant Morning Star Venus is visible in the east-southeast as the morning’s sunrise approaches. It is appearing slightly lower this morning. Mercury is visible low in the east-southeast about 45 minutes before sunrise. This speedy planet is ending its best morning appearance of 2020.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:52 a.m. CST; Sunset, 4:23 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Venus continues to sparkle low in the east-southeast before sunrise. It is nearly 15° up in the east-southeast an hour before sunrise. As twilight brightens, Mercury is near the horizon to the lower left of the star Zubenelgenubi.
Venus rises about 2 hours, 30 minutes before sunrise, while Mercury rises about 75 minutes before the sun. The plane of the solar system continues to make a fairly high angle with the horizon to easily display the two planets closest to the sun. Mercury is only 14° from the sun, while Venus is over double that angular separation from our central star.
On the chart, Venus is 1.6° to the upper right of Kappa Virginis (κ Vir).
Detailed note: One hour before sunrise, brilliant Venus is nearly 15° up in the east-southeast, 1.6° to the upper right of κ Vir. Forty-five minutes before sunrise, Mercury is over 4° in altitude in the east-southeast, 15.0° to the lower left of Venus. Mercury is 3.4° to the lower left of Zubenelgenubi.
Read more about the planets during November.
February 18, 2021: The moon, waxing toward its First Quarter moon phase, is high in the southwest after sunset. Planet Mars is 3.8° to the upper right of the moon. Mars is parading eastward compared to the starry background in eastern Aries as it heads toward the Taurus border.
February 6, 2021: Before sunrise, look east-southeast for the waning crescent moon. It is 4.5° to the upper left of Antares – the rival of Mars.
During February 2021, Mars parades eastward in the dim starfield of Aries and moves into Taurus, nearing a March conjunction with the Pleiades star cluster.