January 11, 2021: During bright twilight, the razor-thin crescent moon joins Venus in the southeast.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 7:17 a.m. CST; Sunset, 4:41 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Find a clear horizon toward the southeast. About 30 minutes before sunrise, the razor-thin crescent moon, that is 3% illuminated, is 3.9° to the right of brilliant Venus. Because of the brightness of the sky, use a binocular to initially locate the lunar crescent and Venus.
This is the final visible grouping of Venus and the moon during this morning appearance of the brilliant planet.
Venus reaches its superior conjunction with the sun during late March. It then appears later during the spring in the evening sky.
At superior conjunction, either Mercury or Venus is “behind” the sun. Not literally, but it is spaced so that the sun is between that planet and Earth. Usually difficult to see and not a good target for the sun’s intensity can damage a mis-aimed telescope.
Detailed Note: Thirty minutes before sunrise, locate a clear horizon to observe the final visible grouping of the moon and Venus during this Venusian apparition. The moon (27.8d, 3%) is 3.9° to the right of the brilliant planet.
Read more about the planets during January.
- 2023, December 26: Cold Moon, Venus, Jupiter, SaturnDecember 26, 2023: The Cold Moon is visible during the nighttime hours. Venus shines before sunrise while Jupiter and Saturn are visible after sundown.
- 2023, December 25: Telescope First Light, Bright PlanetsDecember 25, 2023: For sky watchers with new telescopes, here’s what to look at before dawn or after sunset.
- 2023, December 24: Morning Moon, Pleiades, Antares Heliacal RisingDecember 24, 2023: The moon appears near the Pleiades star cluster during the earlier morning hours. Antares is at its first morning appearance, known as the heliacal rising.
- 2023, December 23: Check out Planet Uranus, Pleiades near MoonDecember 23, 2023: Look for the planet Uranus and the Pleiades star cluster through a binocular during nighttime hours.
- 2023, December 22: Mercury at Inferior Conjunction, Bright Jupiter, Gibbous MoonDecember 22, 2023: Mercury is between Earth and Sun, known as inferior conjunction. Jupiter and the gibbous moon are celestial companions during nighttime hours.