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