2020, December 15: Venus Aims at Graffias

Venus, December 15, 2020
2020, December 15: One hour before sunrise, Venus is low in the southeast. It is 2.2° to the lower right of Theta Librae (θ Lib) and 3.7° to the upper right of Graffias (β Sco).

December 15, 2020: Near the Libra – Scorpius border, Venus is heading for Graffias, in Scorpius, in three mornings.  See the planet low in the southeast before sunrise.

by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Chicago, Illinois:  Sunrise, 7:12 a.m. CST; Sunset, 4:21 p.m. CST.  Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.

Venus is slowly slipping back into morning twilight.  It loses about 2-3 minutes of rising time each morning, so that it appears lower in the sky.  This morning it rises 2 hours before sunrise.  An hour later it is low in the southeast.

With a binocular spot the planet to the lower right of the dim star Theta Librae (θ Lib on the chart).

Venus is approaching Graffias (β Sco), the Crab, for a close conjunction on the morning of December 18.  The separation is about the same as the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn three evenings later.

Venus moves quicker than Jupiter so this approach to the star occurs during the next few mornings.  The prelude to the Jupiter – Saturn conjunction seems painfully slow in comparison to Venus rapid eastward movement through the stars.

Detailed Note: Venus rises two hours before sunrise.  One hour later, it is nearly 9° up in the southeast.  With a binocular observe that it is 2.2° to the lower right of Theta Librae (θ Lib, m = 4.1).  At this time the brilliant planet is 3.7° to the upper right of Beta Scorpii. (β Sco, m = 2.6).  Watch Venus close the gap during the next two mornings: Dec 16, 2.4°; Dec 17, 1.2°. In a telescope, Venus is 91% illuminated – a morning gibbous – and 11.1” across.

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.

RECENT ARTICLES

Venus and Jupiter in the morning sky, July 21, 2012

2022, June 28: Morning Planets

June 28, 2022: Four bright morning planets are easy to spot before sunrise.  Mercury is a challenge to spot, making it five worlds if you can see it.

Keep reading
Crescent Moon, Venus, Aldebaran, July 17, 2020

2022, June 27:  Mercury, Moon Conjunction, Rare Planet Alignment Ending

June 27, 2022: The crescent moon is near elusive Mercury before sunrise.  Not until 2100, will the five bright planets appear in order from the sun.

Keep reading
Venus and crescent Moon, November 12, 2020

2022, June 26:  Spectacular Venus, Moon Conjunction, Morning Planet Parade

June 26, 2022:  Morning Star Venus and the lunar crescent are in conjunction this morning in the east-northeast before daybreak.  The rare morning planet parade of the five planets is quickly breaking up.

Keep reading


Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: