January 8, 2021: Speedy planet Mercury joins Jupiter and Saturn low in the south-southwest after sunset.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 7:18 a.m. CST; Sunset, 4:38 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Find a clear horizon toward the southwestern sky. Thirty minutes after sunset. locate bright Jupiter low in the sky through a binocular. Saturn is dimmer and 2.0° to the lower right of Jupiter. With a brightness between that of Jupiter and Saturn, find Mercury 2.4° to the lower left of Saturn.
This observation has a narrow window of time because Jupiter sets 75 minutes after sunset. Mercury sets only 50 minutes after sunset.
Read more about the planets during January.
November 7, 2021: During the early evening Venus and the moon group together in the southwest.
November 6, 2021: The midpoint of Autumn occurs today.
November 3, 2021: Before sunrise speedy planet Mercury, the crescent moon, and the star Spica are grouped together. The trio does not appear this close together again until 2033.
October 31, 2021: There is no Halloween Full moon this year, and the phase is not close. The crescent moon is in the morning sky. Mercury is low in the east-southeast before sunrise. The planet pack – Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter – gleam in the evening sky.
October 29, 2021: Venus reaches its greatest elongation from the sun. It is in the evening sky with Jupiter and Saturn. The crescent moon and Mercury are in the eastern sky before sunrise.