February 6, 2021: Before sunrise, look east-southeast for the waning crescent moon. It is 4.5° to the upper left of Antares – the rival of Mars.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 7:03 a.m. CST; Sunset, 5:06 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
This morning, the crescent moon – 30% illuminated – is in the south-southeast sky before sunrise. Find it 4.5° to the upper left of the star Antares, “rival of Mars.”
Venus passes Saturn this morning although they are hiding in the sun’s brilliant light.
Read about Mars during February.
Detailed Note: One hour before sunrise, the crescent moon (24.3d, 30%) is over 20° in altitude in the south-southeast, 4.5° to the upper left of Antares (α Sco, m = 1.0). Venus passes Saturn today. They rise only 28 minutes before sunrise. Venus transits – crosses the meridian – a few minutes before 11:30 a.m. At this time Venus is 0.6° to the lower left of Saturn. If you use setting circles, Venus’ coordinates at this time are R.A. 20h36m, dec. −19°27’. This is for experienced observers. Do not point your telescope at the sun. Serious eye damage can occur. Depending on the field of view through the eyepiece, determines whether both are in the same telescopic. Because Venus is only 12° from the sun, find a spot to block the sun with a building or other obstruction. You’ll need to use the same technique to see the close conjunction of Venus and Jupiter in a few days. One hour after sunset, Mars (m = 0.6) – over 64° in altitude in the south-southwest – is 0.4° to the upper left of α Ari and 1.4° to the lower right of ρ Ari.
Read more about the planets during February.
January 3, 2022: The moon passes Venus for the final time of this evening appearance of Venus. As night falls, Mercury, Saturn, and Jupiter are visible in the southwest. Mars is in the southeast before sunrise.
December 30, 2021: As the year ends and the new one opens, the night sky’s brightest star – Sirius – is in the southern sky at the midnight hour.
December 31, 2021: This morning before sunup, the thin waning crescent moon appears near Mars and the star Antares. Four planets – Venus, Mercury, Saturn, and Jupiter – are on parade in the southwest after sundown.
December 30, 2021: The morning crescent moon seems to be captured in the Scorpion’s pincers to the upper right of Mars. Four Evening Planets – Venus, Mercury, Saturn, and Jupiter – are in the southwest after sundown.
December 28, 2021: The Great Andromeda Galaxy is nearly overhead at the end of the evening twilight.