December 20, 2020: Venus is low in the southeastern sky before sunrise in front of the stars of Scorpius. It is in front of the constellation for two more mornings.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 7:15 a.m. CST; Sunset, 4:23 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Venus is slowly slipping into the sun’s bright glare. The planet is working its way across a short section of the ecliptic (the solar system’s plane) that cuts through Scorpius. In two mornings, the planet appears in front of Ophiuchus.
This morning Venus rises nine minutes shy of two hours before sunrise. By 45 minutes before sunrise, the brilliant planet is just 10° in altitude above the southeast horizon. Use a binocular to spot it 2.5° to the lower left of Graffias (β Sco).
Detailed Note: Forty-five minutes before sunrise, Venus – less than 10° in altitude in the southeast – is 2.5° to the lower left of β Sco.
Read more about the planets during December.
During February 2021, Mars parades eastward in the dim starfield of Aries and moves into Taurus, nearing a March conjunction with the Pleiades star cluster.
On February 11, 2021: Venus passes Jupiter during the daytime in a spectacular proximate conjunction.
January 29, 2021: The moon blocks the star Eta Leonis from parts of the Western Hemisphere during the early evening.