March 7, 2021: Mars continues its march through Taurus. It is approaching an imaginary line from Aldebaran to Alcyone. Use a binocular to see the starfield behind the planet.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:15 a.m. CST; Sunset, 5:48 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Mars is visible during the early evening hours high in the west-southwest among the stars of Taurus. It is still near the Pleiades. A binocular reveals the spectacular individual stars of the cluster and the stars near Mars’ trek through the constellation.
Mars is approaching an imaginary line that begins at Aldebaran and ends at Alcyone, the brightest star in the Pleiades. During the next few evenings watch the planet move closer to 37 Tauri and above this imaginary line.
The planet is moving toward 37 Tauri (37 Tau on the chart). This evening it is 1.5° to the lower right of that star. Additionally, Mars is 0.5° to the lower left of 32 Tauri (32 Tau).
Here’s more about Mars during 2021.
Read about Mars during March.
Detailed Note: One hour before sunrise, the moon (23.6d, 34%) is nearly 17° up in the south-southeast. It is 1.2° to the right of Kaus Borealis (λ Sgr, m = 2.8), the star at the top of the lid of the Teapot of Sagittarius. Use a binocular to see the moon with the star as well as the globular star cluster M22 (NGC 6656), 2.4° to the upper left of the star. Move the lunar crescent and the star to the lower left section of the binocular field. While not an ideal hour to view them, the gaseous nebulae – Lagoon Nebula (M8, NGC 6523) and Trifid Nebula (M20, NGC 6514) – become visible to the upper right of the moon and the star. At least the dim stars that help define the clouds’ locations are visible. As the sky brightens further, Saturn is visible low in the east-southeast, about 7° above the horizon. Jupiter is 8.9° to the lower left of Saturn. By 30 minutes before sunrise, use a binocular to see Jupiter and Mercury (m = 0.0), 1.8° to the Giant Planet’s lower left. One hour after sunset, Mars is high in the west-southwest among the starfield of Taurus. It is approaching an imaginary line from Alcyone to Aldebaran (α Tau, m = 0.8). This evening Mars is 3.2° to the upper left of Alcyone and 1.5° to the lower right 37 Tau.
Read more about the planets during March 2021.
April 25, 2021: Mercury passes Evening Star Venus this evening after sunset. Look low in the western sky about 20 minutes after sunset. Mars is marching eastward in Gemini, near the star cluster Messier 35. The bright moon is near Spica.
April 25, 2021: Morning planets Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeast before sunrise. Jupiter is in front of the stars of Aquarius, while Saturn’s starry background is Capricornus.
April 24, 2021: Brilliant Evening Star Venus and bright Mercury are entering the evening sky. They are low in the west-northwest during evening twilight. The bright moon is in the southeast in Virgo. Mars moves into Gemini as it approaches the star cluster Messier 35.
April 24, 2021: The bright gibbous moon is near a star in Virgo during the early morning. From parts of the Western Hemisphere, the moon covers the star. Before sunrise, bright morning planets, Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeast before sunrise.
April 23, 2021: Evening Star Venus and Mercury are entering the evening sky. They are found very low in the west-northwest after sunset. The bright moon is in the southeastern sky during the early evening. Mars is moving toward the star cluster Messier 35.