December 22, 2020: Venus is the last bright planet visible in the morning sky from last summer’s planet parade. Find it low in the southeast before sunrise among the stars of Ophiuchus.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 7:16 a.m. CST; Sunset, 4:24 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Bright Venus, the lone bright morning planet, is low in the southeast before sunrise. If rises less than two hours before the sun appears. By 45 minutes before sunrise, the planet is 9° in altitude. It is now in front of the stars of Ophiuchus. With a binocular observe that it is 5.0° to the lower left of Graffias (β Sco on the chart) and nearly 6° to the upper right of the star Antares. The star’s name is frequently referred to as the “Rival of Mars.”
You’ll need a clear horizon to see Antares. It is making its first morning (heliacal rising) appearance.
Detailed Note: Forty-five minutes before sunrise, Venus – in Ophiuchus – is 9.0° up in the southeast, 5.0° to the lower left of β Sco. The planet is 5.8° to the upper left of Antares that is over 4° above the horizon.
Read more about the planets during December.
November 7, 2021: During the early evening Venus and the moon group together in the southwest.
November 6, 2021: The midpoint of Autumn occurs today.
November 3, 2021: Before sunrise speedy planet Mercury, the crescent moon, and the star Spica are grouped together. The trio does not appear this close together again until 2033.
October 31, 2021: There is no Halloween Full moon this year, and the phase is not close. The crescent moon is in the morning sky. Mercury is low in the east-southeast before sunrise. The planet pack – Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter – gleam in the evening sky.
October 29, 2021: Venus reaches its greatest elongation from the sun. It is in the evening sky with Jupiter and Saturn. The crescent moon and Mercury are in the eastern sky before sunrise.