2021, January 14: Crescent Moon, Evening Planets

2021, January 14: Thirty minutes after sunset, the lunar crescent is to the upper left of Mercury and Jupiter.

January 14, 2021:  This evening the thin lunar crescent joins Mercury and Jupiter after sunset.

by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Chicago, Illinois:  Sunrise, 7:16 a.m. CST; Sunset, 4:43 p.m. CST.  Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.

After sunset this evening the thin crescent moon, only 4% illuminated, joins Mercury and Jupiter in the south-southwest.  The moon is over 10° in altitude.  Mercury is nearly 7° to the lower right of the lunar crescent, while the speedy planet is 4.5° to the upper left of Jupiter.

A binocular helps to initially locate the crescent moon and the planets.  If the sky is exceptionally clear, Saturn might be visible near the horizon, although this is a challenging observation.

Read about Mars during January.

Detailed Note: Thirty minutes after sunset, with a binocular look for Jupiter about 3° in altitude in the west-southwest.  Mercury is 4.5° to the upper left of Jupiter.  The young moon (1.8d, 4%) is nearly 7° to the upper left of Mercury. As the sky darkens further, Mars is over 60° in altitude in the south-southeast.  This evening it passes 6.0° below γ Ari.  With a binocular or through a telescope with some magnification to resolve its disk, Uranus is 3.2° to the lower left of Mars.

Read more about the planets during January.


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