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.
- 2023, October 15: Three Bright PlanetsOctober 15, 2023: Brilliant Venus and Jupiter are visible before sunrise. Saturn is above the southeast horizon after sundown.
- 2023, October 14: Solar Eclipse, Morning PlanetsOctober 14, 2023: A solar eclipse is visible across the western hemisphere. Brilliant Venus and Jupiter are visible before sunrise.
- 2023, October 13: Moon’s Last Glimpse, Bright Morning PlanetsOctober 13, 2023: Before tomorrow’s eclipse, see a razor-thin moon before sunrise. Venus and Jupiter shine brightly during morning twilight.
- 2023, October 12: Bright Morning Planets Bookend Stellar SpectacularOctober 12, 2023: Before sunrise, brilliant Venus and Jupiter bracket the Milky Way’s bright Orion region.
- 2023, October 11: Morning Earthshine, LeoOctober 11, 2023: The morning’s thin lunar crescent displays earthshine as it appears near the constellation Leo.