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2020, December 24: Venus and Antares

2020, November 28: Venus in the morning sky.

2020, November 28: Venus in the morning sky.

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2020, December 24: Venus appears low in the southeast during morning twilight. Antares is to the lower right of Venus.

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.

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, December 28:  Venus Slips, Mercury Hops

December 28, 2021:  Brilliant Venus is quickly slipping from the evening sky.  Mercury appears beneath Venus after sunset.  This duo is joined by Jupiter and Saturn.  In the morning, Mars is near Antares and the moon near Spica.

2021, December 27:  Mars – Antares Conjunction

December 27, 2021:  The Red Planet Mars passes Antares this morning before sunrise.  At the same hour, the moon is near Spica.  The three bright planets – Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter – are in the evening sky.

2021, December 21:  Winter Solstice

December 21, 2021:  The winter solstice occurs at 9:59 a.m. CST.  Mars is in the morning sky along with a bright moon.  The planet pack – Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn – is in the southwestern sky after sunset.

2021, December 19-21:  Gemini Moon

December 19, 20, and 21, 2021:  The bright moon leading up to the winter solstice appears in the western sky before sunrise in front of Gemini.

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