2020, December 10: Moon Passes Spica

2020, December 10: One hour before sunrise, the lunar crescent is to the upper left of Spica. Venus is low in the sky between Iota Librae (ι Lib) and Gamma Librae (γ Lib).

December 10, 2020: Before sunrise, the crescent moon appears near Spica.  Brilliant Morning Star Venus is in Libra, lower in the sky.

by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Chicago, Illinois:  Sunrise, 7:08 a.m. CST; Sunset, 4:20 p.m. CST.  Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.

2020, December 10, Venus, Moon, and Spica.

Before sunrise, the crescent moon, that is 23% illuminated, appears to the upper left of Spica.  Look for them over a third of the way up in the sky above the southeast horizon.

The lunar slice rises about 2 a.m. CST, approximately five hours before local sunrise.

2020, December 10: The moon is to the upper left of Spica.

During the next two mornings watch the moon move closer to Venus.  Each morning the moon rises later and the crescent is thinner.

2020, December 10: Morning Star Venus is in front of the stars of Libra.

Venus is lower in the sky. The planet rises at about 5 a.m., a over 2 hours before sunrise.  The planet is in Libra, beneath Zubenelgenubi and Zubeneschamali, the “claw stars.”

This morning, the planet is between Gamma Librae (γ Lib on the chart) and Iota Librae (ι Lib).  Use a binocular to spot it between the two stars.  Venus is about 3° from each star.

Detailed Note: One hour before sunrise, Venus is over 10° up in the southeast, between ι Lib and γ Lib.  Venus is about 3° from each star. The crescent moon (25.3d, 23%) is higher in the sky, over 36° up.  The lunar slice is 6.3° to the upper left of Spica (α Vir, m = 1.0).

See our summary about Venus during December 2020 and the feature article  about Venus as a Morning Star.

Read more about the planets during December.

2021, April 25: Mercury-Venus Conjunction, Mars, Bright Moon

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.

2021, April 24: Evening Star, Bright Mercury, Venus, Mars, Gibbous Moon

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.

2021, April 24: Lunar Occultation, Morning Planets, Jupiter Saturn

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.

2021, April 23: Evening Star Venus, Mercury, Mars, Moon

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.

Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

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