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.
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.