2021, January 8: Mercury Joins Jupiter and Saturn

Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury, January 8, 2020.
2021: January 8: Jupiter and Saturn are low in the southwest after sunset. Jupiter is 2.0° to the upper left of Saturn. Mercury is 2.4° to the lower left of Saturn.

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.

2021, May 13: Brilliant Venus, Mercury, and the crescent moon in the evening sky.

2021, August 3: Four Evening Planets: Venus, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter

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.

Saturn (NASA)

2021, August 2: Saturn at Opposition

August 2, 2021: Saturn is at opposition with the sun.  Earth is between the sun and the planet.

2020, July 17: The crescent moon appears near Venus before sunrise. The night portion of the moon is gently illuminated by earthshine.

2021: August 1 – 6: Morning Moon, Bright Stars

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.

2021, July 8: The flowers celebrate summer.

2021, August 6: Summer’s Midpoint

August 6, 2021:  In the northern hemisphere, summer’s midpoint occurs today at 6:27 p.m. CDT.

The moon and Spica, December 10, 2020

2021, July 31: Morning Sky, Moon, Mira, Uranus

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.



Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

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