2021, March 26: Venus at Superior Conjunction

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2021, March 26. Venus is at superior conjunction. The sun is between Venus and Earth.

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.

See 2021, Venus as an Evening Star

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!

2021, July 26: Evening Sky, Mars Closes In

July 26, 2021:  Four bright planets are in the evening sky.  Mars closes in on Regulus for their conjunction in three evenings.  Brilliant Evening Star Venus appears to the upper left of the impending Mars – Regulus conjunction.  Saturn and Jupiter are low in the southeastern sky after sunset.

2021, July 25: Evening Sky, Mars on Final Approach

July 25, 2021:  Four evenings before its conjunction with Regulus, find Mars in the western sky to the lower right of Venus.  As the calendar day ends, look for the moon below bright Jupiter.

2021, July 24: Four Evening Planets, Moon

July 24, 2021: After sunset, Venus and Mars are in the western sky.  A little later during evening hours, the moon is near Jupiter and Saturn in the southeast.

2021, July 29: Jupiter – Mars Opposition

July 29, 2021:  Jupiter and Mars are 180° apart along the ecliptic.  Dim Mars sets in the west-northwest as Jupiter rises in the east-southeast.  This event signals that soon both appear in the sky simultaneously.



Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

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2 replies

  1. In the meantime, you can watch Venus passing through the glare of the Sun. https://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/realtime-images.html Mercury will join Venus in April. Look for Venus and Mercury in the SOHO C3 camera, to the left and right of the Sun, around April 14th. Mercury catches up to Venus on the 16th.

    • Jeffrey L. Hunt – Jeffrey L. Hunt is an educational technologist living in suburban Chicago. When he's not learning about and implementing technology in classes, he's running or looking at the stars.

      Mercury is at superior conjunction on April 18. Mercury passes Venus on April 25. Both are very low in the west-northwest at 20 minutes after sunset. From equations by Jean Meeus, Venus should be visible. Mercury is at magnitude -1.6 and might be visible to the unaided eye, although a cloud-free horizon and exceptional weather conditions are needed. On this evening Mercury is 1.2 degrees to the upper right of Venus.

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