December 11, 2020: As sunrise approaches, the crescent moon is to the upper right of the brilliant planet Venus.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 7:09 a.m. CST; Sunset, 4:20 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
One hour before sunrise, the thin crescent moon is less than a third of the way up in the southeast. It is nearly 9° to the upper right of Zubenelgenubi, the Northern Claw.
At this hour brilliant Venus is lower in the sky, nearly 18° to the lower left of the lunar crescent.
The moon rises before 3:30 a.m. CST, about 4 hours before sunrise. Venus’ rising follows moonrise about 90 minutes later, over 2 hours before sunrise. By an hour before sunrise, Venus is 10° above the horizon. Find a location away from nearby terrestrial obstructions for a clear view of the southeast horizon.
With a binocular note that Venus is 3.0° to the lower right of Gamma Librae (γ Lib on the chart.
Tomorrow morning, the moon is over 4° to the upper right of the brilliant planet. Get your cameras ready for a pretty display of Venus and razor-thin moon.
Detailed Note: One hour before sunrise, the crescent moon (26.3d, 14%) is about 25° up in the southeast, 8.8° to the upper right of Zubenelgenubi. Venus – 10° above the horizon – is nearly 18° to the lower left of the lunar arc and 3.0° to the lower right of γ Lib.
Read more about the planets during December.
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.
April 25, 2021: Morning planets Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeast before sunrise. Jupiter is in front of the stars of Aquarius, while Saturn’s starry background is Capricornus.
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.
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.
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.