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.
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.
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.
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