November 27, 2020: Brilliant Venus is the lone bright morning planet. Find it in the east-southeast during early morning twilight. It is stepping eastward in Virgo, near the Virgo-Libra border.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:55 a.m. CST; Sunset, 4:22 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Brilliant Venus is the lone bright planet in the morning sky. For practical observing, Mercury has departed its morning view for its superior conjunction with the sun and its first evening appearance of 2021 during January and February.
Venus is stepping eastward in Virgo, near the Virgo-Libra border. It is near two dimmer stars that can be located before the sky brightens too much or spotted with binocular. This morning the planet has a conjunction with dim Lambda Virginis (λ Vir on the chart). The gap is 1.2°. The star Kappa Virginis (κ Vir) is 2.8° to the upper right of Venus.
Venus is headed toward the vicinity of Zubenelgenubi – the Southern Claw. Zubeneschamali, the Northern Claw – is nearby. Venus passes between the stars on December 4. Watch the planet step eastward compared to the starry background.
Detailed note: One hour before sunrise, Venus is 14.0° up in the east-southeast. In the starfield it is 2.8° to the lower left of κ Vir and passes 1.2° to the upper left of λ Vir.
Read more about the planets during November.
During the early evening hours of winter, the stars that shine from the southern sky are a sampler of the sky’s brightest stars.
January 21, 2021: Several bright stars are in the morning sky. This morning look for Antares in the east-southeast. Mercury – near its greatest elongation – is in the west-southwest after sunset. Mars and the moon are near each other. Planet Uranus is near Mars.
January 20, 2021: Mercury is low in the west-southwest after sunset. The bright moon is to the lower right of Mars, while the Red Planet passes planet Uranus.