2020, December 8-14: Jupiter on Final Approach

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2020, December 8-14: Jupiter begins its final approach to Saturn as a prelude to the Great Conjunction on December 21, 2020.

2020, December 8: One hour after sunset, Jupiter is 1.1° to the lower right of Saturn. The planets are in the southwest.

Jupiter and Saturn are found in the southwest after sunset. Begin looking as night falls, about 45 minutes after sunset. Jupiter is the bright star, about one-fourth of the way up in the sky above the southwest horizon. The observing window is good for about the next 90 minutes, but Jupiter gets lower in the sky. The pair sets about 3 hours after sunset.

Saturn is dimmer than Jupiter, but brighter than the other stars in region. The Ringed Wonder is to the upper left of the Jovian Giant.

During the week, Jupiter nearly cuts the gap to Saturn in half, from 1.1° to 0.7°

For more about the Great Conjunction, read our feature article. This is the closest Jupiter – Saturn conjunction since 1623.

2020, December 9: One hour after sunset, Jupiter is 1.0° to the lower right of Saturn.

2020, December 10: In the southwest after sunset, bright Jupiter is 1.0° to the lower right of Saturn.

2020, December 11: About an hour after sunset, Jupiter can be found low in the southwest. Jupiter is 1.0° to the lower right of Saturn.

2020, December 12: One hour after sunset, Jupiter and Saturn are in the southwest. The Jupiter – Saturn gap is 0.9°.

2020, December 13: One hour after sunset, Jupiter is 0.8° to the lower right of Saturn. Find them low in the southwestern sky.

2020, December 14: Jupiter is in the southwest after sunset, 0.7° to the lower right of Saturn.

2021, February 19-21: Moon in Taurus

February 19-21: The bright moon moves through the constellation Taurus. Use a binocular to see the starry background with the moon.

2021, February 18: Evening Moon, Mars, Pleiades

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.

2021, February 6: Morning Moon, Antares

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.



Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

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