2020, December 10: Moon Passes Spica

Moon near Spica, Venus in Libra, December 10, 2020
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.

Venus, Moon and Spica, December 10, 2020
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.

Moon and Spica, December 10, 2020
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.

Venus, December 10, 2020
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.


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Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

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