2020, December 22: Venus, Low in Southeast

Venus, December 22. 2020
2020, December 22: Venus is 5.0° to the lower left of Graffias (β Sco) and 5.8° to the upper left of Antares.

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.

See our summary about Venus during December 2020 and the feature article  about Venus as a Morning Star.

Read more about the planets during December.

2021, May 13: Brilliant Venus, Mercury, and the crescent moon in the evening sky.

2021, August 3: Four Evening Planets: Venus, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter

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.

Saturn (NASA)

2021, August 2: Saturn at Opposition

August 2, 2021: Saturn is at opposition with the sun.  Earth is between the sun and the planet.

2020, July 17: The crescent moon appears near Venus before sunrise. The night portion of the moon is gently illuminated by earthshine.

2021: August 1 – 6: Morning Moon, Bright Stars

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.

2021, July 8: The flowers celebrate summer.

2021, August 6: Summer’s Midpoint

August 6, 2021:  In the northern hemisphere, summer’s midpoint occurs today at 6:27 p.m. CDT.

The moon and Spica, December 10, 2020

2021, July 31: Morning Sky, Moon, Mira, Uranus

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.

Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

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