March 9, 2021: Mars marches eastward in Taurus. Find it high in the west-southwest after sunset.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:12 a.m. CST; Sunset, 5:51 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Mars continues its eastward march through Taurus. Find the Red Planet high in the west-southwest after sunset. It is to the upper left of the Pleiades star cluster, a small bunch of six or seven stars. Together the stars catch your view from the corner of your eye.
Mars is the reddish star immediately to the upper left of the cluster. Another red star, Aldebaran (“the follower”) – the brightest star in Taurus – is a little farther to the left of Mars.
This evening Mars is above an imaginary line that starts at Aldebaran and goes to the Pleiades star cluster.
With a binocular the star cluster and Mars are still in the same field. The planet is 0.3° to the lower right of 37 Tauri (37 Tau) on the chart.
The window to see Mars is open for a few hours during the evening. The view settles lower in the western sky as the night continues, setting over 6 hours after sunset.
Here’s more about Mars during 2021.
Read about Mars during March.
Detailed Note: Forty-five minutes before sunrise, the crescent moon (25.7d, 16%) is about 7° up in the southeast. Saturn – nearly 8° up in the east-southeast – is 7.9° to the upper left of the lunar slice. At this hour, Jupiter – nearly 4° up in the east-southeast – is 9.1° to the lower left of Saturn. Fifteen minutes later, Jupiter is over 6° in altitude. Mercury is 3.5° to the lower left of the Giant Planet. Use a binocular to see them. One hour after sunset, Mars is high in the west-southwest, 4.0° to the upper left of Alcyone and 9.6° to the lower right of Aldebaran. Use a binocular to spot the planet with the starfield with the Hyades and the Pleiades. Mars is 0.3° to the lower right of 37 Tau, and above a line from Alcyone to Aldebaran.
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.