December 9, 2020: The Great Conjunction countdown: 12 days. Jupiter and Saturn are now 1.0° as the seemingly slow-motion conjunction continues to unfold in the southwestern sky. Farther east, rusty Mars is moving eastward in Pisces with noticeable nightly changes.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 7:07 a.m. CST; Sunset, 4:20 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
The Great Conjunction of 2020 is 12 days away! One hour after sunset, Saturn is less that a quarter of the way up in the sky in the southwest. Brighter Jupiter is 1.0° to the lower right of Saturn. The change is noticeable as the conjunction draws near.
Bright Mars is in the southeast, about halfway up in the sky as night falls. The planet continues to move eastward among the dim stars of Pisces.
With a binocular note that it above an imaginary line that connects Epsilon Piscium (ε Psc on the chart) and Zeta Piscium (ζ Psc).
Read about Mars during December.
Detailed note: One hour after sunset, Saturn is nearly 18° up in the southwest, 1.0° to the upper left of brighter Jupiter. The Jovian Giant continues to close the gap with the Ringed Wonder. Great Conjunction Countdown: 12 days. Mars is farther east, less than halfway up in the sky above the southeast horizon on a line that connects ε Psc and ζ Psc. The Red Planet is 1.6° to the lower left of ε Psc, 1.0° to the upper right of ζ Psc, and 2.0° to the upper left of 80 Psc. Use a binocular to spot the planet with the stars.
Read more about the planets during December.
April 19, 2021: The first evening appearance of Venus for this apparition occurs this evening. Look for it low in the west-northwest about 20 minutes after sunset.
April 19, 2021: Venus begins to appear in the west after sunset. The moon lines up with Pollux and Castor, while Mars is above Bull’s horns in the western evening sky.
April 19, 2021: The bright morning planets, Jupiter and Saturn, are in the southeastern sky before sunrise. Capricornus is the starry background for this giant planet duo.
April 18, 2021: The crescent moon is high in the west after sunset among the stars of Gemini, below Pollux and Castor. Mars is above the Bull’s horns. Daylight is 13 hours, 30 minutes long.
April 18, 2021: The bright morning planets, Jupiter and Saturn, are in the southeastern sky before sunrise. Capricornus is the starry background for this giant planet duo. Daylight is 13 hours, 30 minutes long.