Mars marches eastward in Pisces during December. After its retrograde ended last month, the planet slowly began its eastward traverse. Now, the planet rapid strides eastward among the dim stars.
Find the planet high in the southeast after sunset. It has a distinctly reddish color and brighter than other stars in the region. It is south about 8 p.m. CST, approximately 3 hours, 30 minutes after local sunset. By 2:30 a.m. CST, about 4 hours, 30 minutes before sunrise, Mars sets in the west.
At month’s end, Mars is in the south by 2 hours, 30 minutes after sunset. It sets in the west about 5 hours, 30 minutes before sunrise.
On December 1, the planet is near Epsilon Piscium (ε Psc) and 80 Piscium (80 Psc). With a binocular watch the planet move into a dim, tiny triangle of stars made by Zeta Piscium (ζ Psc), ε Psc, and 80 Psc.
As the planet moves away from the tiny triangle, it heads toward the general region of Pi Piscium (π Psc). Look at a wider view as Mars travels toward the Pleiades star cluster. The Red Planet reaches that region during early March.
On December 23, the gibbous moon joins Mars for a nearly all-night trek across the sky.
Watch Mars march eastward during the month of December 2020.
April 25, 2021: Mercury passes Evening Star Venus this evening after sunset. Look low in the western sky about 20 minutes after sunset. Mars is marching eastward in Gemini, near the star cluster Messier 35. The bright moon is near Spica.
April 25, 2021: Morning planets Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeast before sunrise. Jupiter is in front of the stars of Aquarius, while Saturn’s starry background is Capricornus.
April 24, 2021: Brilliant Evening Star Venus and bright Mercury are entering the evening sky. They are low in the west-northwest during evening twilight. The bright moon is in the southeast in Virgo. Mars moves into Gemini as it approaches the star cluster Messier 35.
April 24, 2021: The bright gibbous moon is near a star in Virgo during the early morning. From parts of the Western Hemisphere, the moon covers the star. Before sunrise, bright morning planets, Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeast before sunrise.
April 23, 2021: Evening Star Venus and Mercury are entering the evening sky. They are found very low in the west-northwest after sunset. The bright moon is in the southeastern sky during the early evening. Mars is moving toward the star cluster Messier 35.