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.
April 21, 2021: Evening Star is making its first appearance in the west-northwest shortly after sunset. The gibbous moon is near Leo, while Mars is near the foot of Castor.
April 21, 2021: Jupiter and Saturn are the bright morning planets in the southeast before sunrise. The stars are in front of the backdrop of Capricornus. The constellation looks like an oversized boomerang or stealth fighter.
April 20, 2021: Venus is very low in the west-northwest after sunset. The gibbous moon is in Cancer, between Regulus and Pollux. Mars, above the horns of Taurus, approaches the star cluster Messier 35.
April 20, 2021: Bright Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeastern sky before sunrise, gently moving eastward compared to the starry backdrop of Capricornus.
April 19, 2021: The first evening appearance of Venus for this apparition occurs this evening. Look for it low in the west-northwest about 20 minutes after sunset.