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.
August 14, 2021: This evening the waxing moon is near Zubenelgenubi, the southern claw, that is a stellar double. Use a binocular to see both stars that are in a gravitation dance.
August 13, 2021: This evening the crescent moon appears between Evening Star Venus and Spica as the lunar slice dances eastward. Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeastern sky.
August 12, 2021: This evening the crescent moon appears between Venus and Spica as the lunar slice dances eastward.
August 11, 2021: The waxing crescent moon is to the upper left of Evening Star Venus this evening in the western sky.
August 10, 2021: The crescent moon is near Venus in the western sky after sunset.