2020, December 17: Venus Nears Pretty Conjunction

Venus, December 17, 2020
2020, December 17: Before sunrise, brilliant Morning Star Venus is 1.1° to the upper right of Graffias (β Sco).

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.

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.

2021, May 13: Brilliant Venus, Mercury, and the crescent moon in the evening sky.

2021, August 3: Four Evening Planets: Venus, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter

August 3, 2021:  Four planets appear in the evening sky.  Brilliant Evening Star Venus and dim Mars are in the west after sunset.  A little later during the evening, Saturn and Jupiter are easily visible in the southeast.

Saturn (NASA)

2021, August 2: Saturn at Opposition

August 2, 2021: Saturn is at opposition with the sun.  Earth is between the sun and the planet.

2020, July 17: The crescent moon appears near Venus before sunrise. The night portion of the moon is gently illuminated by earthshine.

2021: August 1 – 6: Morning Moon, Bright Stars

August 1 – 6, 2021:  The morning moon wanes toward its New moon phase in the eastern sky.  It passes the bright stars that are prominent in the evening sky during the winter season in the northern hemisphere.  The stars have been making their first appearances in the morning sky during summer.  At this hour, Procyon and bright Sirius are the last stellar duo to appear.

2021, July 8: The flowers celebrate summer.

2021, August 6: Summer’s Midpoint

August 6, 2021:  In the northern hemisphere, summer’s midpoint occurs today at 6:27 p.m. CDT.

The moon and Spica, December 10, 2020

2021, July 31: Morning Sky, Moon, Mira, Uranus

July 31, 2021:  The slightly gibbous moon, nearing its Last Quarter phase, is in the southeast as morning twilight begins.  It is near the planet Uranus, easily within reach of a binocular.  Mira, a variable star, reaches its brightest next month.

Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

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