December 17, 2020: Venus is low in the southeast before sunrise, near the star Graffias, Beta Scorpii, one day before its conjunction with the star. This morning conjunction is about the same separation as the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn on December 21, 2020.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 7:13 a.m. CST; Sunset, 4:21 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
This morning, brilliant Venus continues as “that bright star” in the east before sunrise. One hour before the sun rises, the planet is about 10° up in the southeast. It is approaching the star Graffias (β Sco), the Crab, in Scorpius. The separation is 1.1°, with Venus to the upper right of the star.
The planet is near the Libra-Scorpius border. Tomorrow Venus is 0.1° from the star, a sample of the proximity of Jupiter and Saturn’s Great Conjunction on December 21, 2020.
Use a binocular to initially locate the star near Venus and then attempt to look for it without optical help.
Detailed Note: Before sunrise, find brilliant Venus about 10° up in the southeast, 1.1° to the upper right of β Sco.
Read more about the planets during December.
During the early evening hours of winter, the stars that shine from the southern sky are a sampler of the sky’s brightest stars.
January 21, 2021: Several bright stars are in the morning sky. This morning look for Antares in the east-southeast. Mercury – near its greatest elongation – is in the west-southwest after sunset. Mars and the moon are near each other. Planet Uranus is near Mars.
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.