March 8, 2021: Mars continues its eastward march in Taurus. It is nearly between the Pleiades star cluster and Aldebaran, the constellation’s brightest star. Find it during the early evening, high in the west-southwestern sky.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:14 a.m. CST; Sunset, 5:50 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Mars is visible high in the west-southwest as night falls. It is moving eastward in Taurus. Now east of the Pleiades, 3.6° to the upper left of Alcyone, the cluster’s brightest star. The planet is below a line from Alcyone to Aldebaran, the constellation’s brightest star.
Use a binocular to see the background stars. Mars is 0.9° to the lower right of dim 37 Tauri.
The window to see Mars is quite long. It sets in the west after midnight. Catch it during the early evening.
Here’s more about Mars during 2021.
Read about Mars during March.
Detailed Note: One hour before sunrise, the moon (24.6d, 24%) is over 10° above the southeast horizon. The lunar slice is 4.1° to the left of Tau Sagittarii (τ Sgr, m =3.3), at the bottom of the Teapot’s handle. At this hour Saturn is over 5° up in the east-southeast. As the sky brightens, Jupiter and Mercury follow behind. Jupiter is 9.0° to the lower left of Saturn. As twilight progresses can you see the two in the sky together without optical aid? By 30 minutes before sunrise, Jupiter is nearly 6° up in the east-southeast with Mercury 2.6° to its lower left. One hour after sunset. Mars, high in the west-southwestern sky – is well-past the Pleiades, 3.6° to the upper left of Alcyone. The planet is below a line from Alcyone to Aldebaran, 10.0° to the lower right of the constellation’s brightest star. Among the dimmer stars, use a binocular to spot 37 Tau 0.9° to the upper left of Mars.
Read more about the planets during March 2021.
November 7, 2021: During the early evening Venus and the moon group together in the southwest.
November 6, 2021: The midpoint of Autumn occurs today.
November 3, 2021: Before sunrise speedy planet Mercury, the crescent moon, and the star Spica are grouped together. The trio does not appear this close together again until 2033.
October 31, 2021: There is no Halloween Full moon this year, and the phase is not close. The crescent moon is in the morning sky. Mercury is low in the east-southeast before sunrise. The planet pack – Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter – gleam in the evening sky.
October 29, 2021: Venus reaches its greatest elongation from the sun. It is in the evening sky with Jupiter and Saturn. The crescent moon and Mercury are in the eastern sky before sunrise.