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.
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.
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.