December 24, 2020: Venus continues to appear lower in the southeastern sky before sunrise. It appears to the upper left of Antares, now making its first morning appearance. Find a clear horizon toward the southeast to see the planet and the star.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 7:16 a.m. CST; Sunset, 4:25 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Find Venus low in the southeast about 45 minutes before sunrise. It is to the upper left of Antares, the Rival of Mars, that is making its first appearance in the morning sky before sunrise (heliacal rising).
The brilliant Morning Star is the lone bright planet in the morning sky. It rises 2-3 minutes later each morning so it appears lower in the sky during morning twilight.
Find an unobstructed horizon toward the southeast to locate the planet and the star. The star may be twinkling wildly, the effects of the atmosphere when a bright star is low in the sky.
Detailed Note: December 24: Venus is about 8° in altitude in the southeast at 45 minutes before sunrise. The brilliant planet is 5.6° to the upper left of Antares and 1.2° to the lower left of ω Oph. The moon is farthest from Earth (apogee) at 10:31 a.m. CST, 251,640 miles away.
Read more about the planets during December.
January 6, 2023: The bright Full moon appears near Castor and Pollux all night. Four bright planets – Venus, Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars – span the sky after sundown.Keep reading
January 5, 2023: The bright moon can be seen before sunrise and after sunset. Four bright planets are strung across the sky from southwest to east after sundown. Orion’s Rigel rises at sundown.Keep reading