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.
December 28, 2021: Brilliant Venus is quickly slipping from the evening sky. Mercury appears beneath Venus after sunset. This duo is joined by Jupiter and Saturn. In the morning, Mars is near Antares and the moon near Spica.
December 27, 2021: The Red Planet Mars passes Antares this morning before sunrise. At the same hour, the moon is near Spica. The three bright planets – Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter – are in the evening sky.
November 25, 2021: This is my postcard to my friends on Earth.
December 21, 2021: The winter solstice occurs at 9:59 a.m. CST. Mars is in the morning sky along with a bright moon. The planet pack – Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn – is in the southwestern sky after sunset.
December 19, 20, and 21, 2021: The bright moon leading up to the winter solstice appears in the western sky before sunrise in front of Gemini.