2021, March 9: Morning Moon, Planets

2021, March 9: Forty-five minutes before sunrise, the crescent moon, Saturn and Jupiter are low in the southeastern sky.
2021, March 9: Forty-five minutes before sunrise, the crescent moon, Saturn and Jupiter are low in the southeastern sky.

March 9, 2021:  The moon joins Saturn, Jupiter, and Mercury in the southeastern sky before sunrise.

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.

This morning the crescent moon is low in the southeast about 45 minutes before sunrise.  Look for Saturn 7.9° to the upper left of the lunar slice.  Jupiter is in the sky as well, but only about 4° above the east-southeastern horizon and 9.1° to the lower left of Saturn.

2021, March 9: Thirty minutes before sunrise, Mercury joins the moon, Saturn and Jupiter.
2021, March 9: Thirty minutes before sunrise, Mercury joins the moon, Saturn and Jupiter.

Fifteen minutes later, Jupiter is higher in the sky, but a binocular is needed to see the planets in the brighter sky of the approaching sunrise. At this time Mercury is 3.5° to the lower left of the Jovian Giant.

Find a clear, unobstructed horizon to view this morning quartet.

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.

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