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.
- 2023, October 20: Jupiter’s Double Shadows, Mercury at Superior ConjunctionOctober 20: After midnight, Jupiter’s moons’ shadows dance across the cloud tops. Mercury is at superior conjunction.
- 2023, October 19: Poured Moon, See Planet UranusOctober 19: Sagittarius seems to pour the moon into the sky this evening. Find Uranus with a binocular.
- 2023, October 18: Moon-Antares Conjunction, Bright PlanetsOctober 18, 2023: The moon is near Antares after sunset. Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn are in the sky during the nighttime hours.
- 2023, October 17: Scorpion MoonOctober 17, 2023: The crescent moon is with Scorpius during evening twilight. Venus and Jupiter gleam from the predawn sky.
- 2023, October 16: Venus in Starry ConjunctionOctober 16, 2023: Venus passes a star in Leo before sunrise. A crescent moon is low in the western sky during evening twilight.