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.
- 2023, October 20: Jupiter’s Double Shadows, Mercury at Superior ConjunctionOctober 20: After midnight, Jupiter’s moons’ shadows dance across the cloud tops. Mercury is at superior conjunction.
- 2023, October 19: Poured Moon, See Planet UranusOctober 19: Sagittarius seems to pour the moon into the sky this evening. Find Uranus with a binocular.
- 2023, October 18: Moon-Antares Conjunction, Bright PlanetsOctober 18, 2023: The moon is near Antares after sunset. Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn are in the sky during the nighttime hours.
- 2023, October 17: Scorpion MoonOctober 17, 2023: The crescent moon is with Scorpius during evening twilight. Venus and Jupiter gleam from the predawn sky.
- 2023, October 16: Venus in Starry ConjunctionOctober 16, 2023: Venus passes a star in Leo before sunrise. A crescent moon is low in the western sky during evening twilight.