December 16, 2020: Just days before the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the evening sky, Morning Star Venus nears the star Graffias for a very close conjunction in two mornings.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 7:12 a.m. CST; Sunset, 4:21 p.m. CST. (Daylight length is 7 hours, 9 minutes.) Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Brilliant Morning Star Venus appears low in the southeast before sunrise this morning. In two mornings, it passes very close to the star Graffias (β Sco on the chart), the Crab.
This morning Venus is 2.4° to the upper right of Graffias. A binocular may initially help you find the star as the sky brightens. Start looking about an hour before sunrise.
In two mornings, Venus passes 0.1° from the star. This is about the Jupiter – Saturn separation at the Great Conjunction on December 21.
Detailed Summary: Forty-five minutes before sunrise, Venus is nearly 11° up in the southeast. It is 2.4° to the upper right of β Sco. Use a binocular to see the planet in the starfield of Scorpius.
Read more about the planets during December.
January 3, 2022: The moon passes Venus for the final time of this evening appearance of Venus. As night falls, Mercury, Saturn, and Jupiter are visible in the southwest. Mars is in the southeast before sunrise.
December 30, 2021: As the year ends and the new one opens, the night sky’s brightest star – Sirius – is in the southern sky at the midnight hour.
December 31, 2021: This morning before sunup, the thin waning crescent moon appears near Mars and the star Antares. Four planets – Venus, Mercury, Saturn, and Jupiter – are on parade in the southwest after sundown.
December 30, 2021: The morning crescent moon seems to be captured in the Scorpion’s pincers to the upper right of Mars. Four Evening Planets – Venus, Mercury, Saturn, and Jupiter – are in the southwest after sundown.
December 28, 2021: The Great Andromeda Galaxy is nearly overhead at the end of the evening twilight.