2020, December 23: Antares Heliacal Rising

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2020, December 23: Before sunrise, Venus is low in the southeast. It is 5.5° to the upper left of Antares.

December 23, 2020:  Brilliant Morning Star Venus shines from the southeast before sunrise.  It passes 5.5° to the upper left of Antares.  The star is at its heliacal rising (first morning appearance).

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.

Venus slowly slips into bright sunlight.  It is rising 2-3 minutes later each morning. This makes it appear lower in the sky each morning.  About 45 minutes before sunrise the brilliant Morning Star is only about 9° in altitude.

Antares is making its first morning appearance (heliacal rising).  Locate an unobstructed horizon to the southeast to see the planet 5.5° to the upper left of the star.

Detailed Note: Forty-five minutes before sunrise, brilliant Venus is low in the southeast, only about 9° in altitude.  The planet is 5.5° to the upper left of Antares.  A binocular and a very clear horizon may be needed to see the star.  With the binocular look at the starry region of Ophiuchus and Scorpius to the upper right of Venus.  In that starfield, Venus is 2.0° to the lower left of ψ Oph and 0.5° to the upper left of Omega Ophiuchi (ω Oph, m = 4.4).

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, January 21: Morning Stars, Evening Bright Moon

January 21, 2021: Several bright stars are in the morning sky. This morning look for Antares in the east-southeast. Mercury – near its greatest elongation – is in the west-southwest after sunset. Mars and the moon are near each other. Planet Uranus is near Mars.



Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

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