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.
January 20, 2021: Mercury is low in the west-southwest after sunset. The bright moon is to the lower right of Mars, while the Red Planet passes planet Uranus.
January 19, 2021: Mercury is low in the west-southwest after sunset. The moon is approaching Mars before their grouping tomorrow evening. Mars nears the planet Uranus before tomorrow’s conjunction.
January 18, 2021: Without a bright morning planet, bright Arcturus and the constellation Bootes the Herdsman is high in the south. The crescent moon is in the early evening sky. Mars is near the planet Uranus. They are high in the south-southeast as night falls.