2020, December 23: Antares Heliacal Rising

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, April 25: Mercury-Venus Conjunction, Mars, Bright Moon

April 25, 2021: Mercury passes Evening Star Venus this evening after sunset.  Look low in the western sky about 20 minutes after sunset.  Mars is marching eastward in Gemini, near the star cluster Messier 35.  The bright moon is near Spica.

2021, April 24: Evening Star, Bright Mercury, Venus, Mars, Gibbous Moon

April 24, 2021:  Brilliant Evening Star Venus and bright Mercury are entering the evening sky.  They are low in the west-northwest during evening twilight.  The bright moon is in the southeast in Virgo.  Mars moves into Gemini as it approaches the star cluster Messier 35.

2021, April 24: Lunar Occultation, Morning Planets, Jupiter Saturn

April 24, 2021:  The bright gibbous moon is near a star in Virgo during the early morning.  From parts of the Western Hemisphere, the moon covers the star.  Before sunrise, bright morning planets, Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeast before sunrise.

2021, April 23: Evening Star Venus, Mercury, Mars, Moon

April 23, 2021: Evening Star Venus and Mercury are entering the evening sky.  They are found very low in the west-northwest after sunset.  The bright moon is in the southeastern sky during the early evening.  Mars is moving toward the star cluster Messier 35.

Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

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