March 26, 2021: Venus reaches its superior conjunction today. The sun is between Earth and the planet.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Venus reaches its superior conjunction and begins a slow climb into the evening sky. Its first evening appearance does not occur until about April 19 when it sets at about Civil Twilight. This occurs when the sun is 6° below the horizon. During mid-April this occurs about 30 minutes after sunset.
The planet moves higher into the western evening sky through the rest of the year. It has a conjunction with Mars during the summer.
Near year’s end it is in a dashing grouping with the crescent moon. Venus – near its maximum brilliance – stands above a razor-thin moon on December 6.
Venus and Mercury revolve around the sun faster than Earth. Imagine a nearly circular track where the runners stay in their lanes and the runners on the inner lanes run faster than those on the outside lanes. Eventually, the runners in the inside lap those farther out.
Earth laps the planets farther from the sun and Mercury and Venus laps our planet. Venus was visible in the morning during the summer and autumn. It moved away and into the sun’s glare on the far side of its orbital path. This month it moves so that the sun is between Earth and Venus (superior conjunction).
With Venus’ faster speed, it eventually catches us and passes between Earth and the sun (inferior conjunction).
Venus now begins an evening appearance that ends early next year.
Happy Venus superior conjunction day!
April 28, 2021: Evening Star Venus and bright Mercury are low in the west-northwest during bright evening twilight. Later during the evening, Mars is at the feet of Gemini. Use a binocular to spot the star cluster Messier 35 below the Red Planet. Near midnight, the moon is in the southeast near Antares.
Advertisements April 28, 2021: This morning the bright moon appears to be caught in the pincers of the Scorpion and near the creature’s forehead. Bright morning planets Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeast before sunrise. by Jeffrey L. Hunt Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 5:51 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 7:46 p.m. CDT. Check local sources for sunrise… Read More ›
April 27, 2021: Evening Star Venus and Mercury climb into the evening sky in the west-northwest after sunset. In a darker sky, Mars marches eastward in Gemini, near the feet of the Twins. Look for the moon caught in the pincers of the Scorpion.
April 27, 2021: The bright Pink Moon is in the southwest before sunrise, near the southern pincer of the Scorpion. Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeast moving eastward compared to the starry background.
April 26, 2021: The perigee full moon (supermoon), known as the Pink Moon, occurs this evening. Evening star Venus and Mercury are above the west-northwest horizon after sunset. Use a binocular to see Mars closest to the star cluster Messier 35.