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.
October 9, 2021: Look for brilliant Venus, crescent moon, and the head of Scorpius in the southwest after sunset. About every eight years, Venus and the moon appear near the head of the Scorpion after sunset. Look for them about 45 minutes after sunset.
October 1, 2021: Before sunrise, the lunar crescent is near the Beehive star cluster.
Newly released analysis from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows that the Arabia Terra region on Mars experienced powerful volcanic eruptions.
September 30, 2021: An hour before sunrise, the crescent moon is near the Gemini Twins.
September 29, 2021: The thick crescent moon is in the southeast before sunrise, approaching the middle of Gemini. The evening planet pack is visible after sunset.