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.
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.
During the next two mornings watch the moon move closer to Venus. Each morning the moon rises later and the crescent is thinner.
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).
Read more about the planets during December.
February 28, 2023: One night before their close conjunction, Venus approaches Jupiter in the west-southwest after sundown. The moon is near the horns of Taurus with Mars nearby.Keep reading
February 27, 2023: Brilliant Venus approaches Jupiter, two nights before their conjunction. The moon passes close to Mars near midnight.Keep reading
February 26, 2023: As the Venus-Jupiter conjunction nears, the two planets are close in the west-southwest after sundown. The moon is near the Pleiades star cluster during the evening.Keep reading