2021, March 5: Mars Passing Pleiades

2021, March 5: Mars is in Taurus, high in the west-southwest after sunset.

March 5, 2021:  After sunset, Mars continues its eastward march through Taurus.  Now passing the Pleiades star cluster, it is moving toward its next signpost, 37 Tauri.  Use a binocular to make nightly observations of the planet’s trek through the stars of Taurus.

by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Chicago, Illinois:  Sunrise, 6:19 a.m. CST; Sunset, 5:46 p.m. CST.  Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.

One evening after its conjunction with the Pleiades, Mars is still near the star cluster.  Look for the planet high in the west-south west about an hour after sunset.  It is 2.8° to the left of Alcyone, the brightest star in the cluster.

2021, March 5: Use a binocular to look for Mars near the Pleiades. It is trekking toward 37 Tauri (37 Tau).

During the next few evenings, use a binocular to watch Mars move away from the Pleiades and approach the star 37 Tauri (37 Tau on the chart).

Here’s more about Mars during 2021.

Read about Mars during March.

Detailed Note: One hour before sunrise, the moon (21.7d, 57%) is 26° up in the south, 5.0° to the upper right of Antares (α Sco, m = 1.0) and 4.2° to the lower left of Graffias (β Sco, m = 2.5).  Use a binocular to see the starfield behind the moon. Fifteen minutes later, Saturn is nearly 7° up in the east-southeast.  Jupiter is 8.6° of ecliptic longitude east of Saturn.  With a clear horizon, you might find Jupiter very low in the sky.  Thirty minutes before sunrise, use a binocular to locate Jupiter about 5° up in the east-southeast, with Mercury 0.3° to its upper left.  One hour after sunset, Mars is nearly 60° up in the west-southwest.  It is 2.8° to the left of Alcyone.  With a binocular spot 37 Tauri (37 Tau, m = 4.3), 2.6° to the upper left of Mars. The moon is at its Last Quarter phase at 7:30 p.m. CST.

Read more about the planets during March 2021.

2021, July 6: Venus, Mars Final Approach

July 6, 2021:  In less than a week, brilliant Venus passes Mars in the west-northwestern sky after sunset.  This evening the two planets are 3.8° apart.  Venus is over 18° to the lower right of the star Regulus.

2021, July 1- 7, Morning Moon

July 1 – July 7, 2021, the waning crescent appears in the eastern sky.  Early in the viewing period, the moon is among the dim stars of Pisces.  As the week progresses, the moon wanes and moves farther eastward, appearing near Taurus.

2021, July 5: Earth at Aphelion

July 5, 2021:  Our planet Earth reaches its farthest point in its yearly trek around the sun.  Our seasons are not related to Earth’s distance from the sun.  Coincidentally, the moon is at its farthest point from Earth today.

2021, July 4: Venus Aims at Mars

July 4, 2021: The Venus – Mars conjunction is eight days away.  This evening Venus moves to within 5° of the Red Planet.

Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

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