December 19, 2020: Brilliant Venus shines from low in the southeast among the stars of Scorpius. The planet rapidly moves through the constellation.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 7:14 a.m. CST; Sunset, 4:22 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Venus 2-3 rises later each morning. This morning it rises less than 2 hours (113 minutes) before sunrise. By 45 minutes before sunrise it is less than 10° up in the southeast. It is now past Graffias (β Sco on the chart). Unlike slow-moving Jupiter and Saturn, Venus opened a big gap – 1.3° – with the star this morning. With a binocular note that Venus is near Nu Scorpii (ν Sco) and Omega1 Scorpii (ω1 Sco).
Detailed Note: Forty-five minutes before sunrise, Venus is less than 10° in altitude in the southeast, 1.3° to the lower left of β Sco, 0.5° to the lower right of ν Sco, and 1.2° to the left of ω1 Sco. Venus is below a line from ν Sco to ω1 Sco.
Read more about the planets during December.
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.
August 2, 2021: Saturn is at opposition with the sun. Earth is between the sun and the planet.
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.
August 6, 2021: In the northern hemisphere, summer’s midpoint occurs today at 6:27 p.m. CDT.
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.