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.
August 3, 2021: Four planets appear in the evening sky. Brilliant Evening Star Venus and dim Mars are in the west after sunset. A little later during the evening, Saturn and Jupiter are easily visible in the southeast.
August 2, 2021: Saturn is at opposition with the sun. Earth is between the sun and the planet.
August 1 – 6, 2021: The morning moon wanes toward its New moon phase in the eastern sky. It passes the bright stars that are prominent in the evening sky during the winter season in the northern hemisphere. The stars have been making their first appearances in the morning sky during summer. At this hour, Procyon and bright Sirius are the last stellar duo to appear.
August 6, 2021: In the northern hemisphere, summer’s midpoint occurs today at 6:27 p.m. CDT.
July 31, 2021: The slightly gibbous moon, nearing its Last Quarter phase, is in the southeast as morning twilight begins. It is near the planet Uranus, easily within reach of a binocular. Mira, a variable star, reaches its brightest next month.