March 11, 2021: Mars continues its eastward march through Taurus. It appears to the right of the star Aldebaran and to the upper left of the Pleiades star cluster.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:09 a.m. CST; Sunset, 5:53 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Mars continues as the lone bright planet in the evening sky that is less than two-thirds of the way up in the sky above the west-southwest horizon. It is marching eastward in the constellation Taurus.
Mars is nearly 9° to the right of Aldebaran (“the follower”), the brightest star in the constellation. Aldebaran and Mars have nearly the same color and brightness. The planet is now to the upper left of the Pleiades after their conjunction about a week ago.
Use a binocular to see the background stars with Mars. Tonight, the Red Planet is 0.8° to the upper left of 37 Tauri (37 on the chart.)
Here’s more about Mars during 2021.
Read about Mars during March.
Detailed Note: Saturn and Jupiter are easier to see in the predawn sky. They are appearing higher in the sky each morning. Forty-five minutes before sunrise, Saturn is over 8° in altitude above the southeast horizon. Jupiter is over 9° to Saturn’s lower left and about 4° up in the sky in the east-southeast. Fifteen minutes later, Mercury is 4.0° up, 5.4° to the lower left of Jupiter. We say good-bye to Mercury for this apparition. With exceptional conditions you should be able to track it for a few more mornings before it is lost in the sun’s brilliant light. One hour after sunset, Mars (m = 1.1) is less than 60° in altitude above the west-southwestern horizon, among the stars of Taurus. It is to the upper left of the Pleiades and nearly 9° to the right of Aldebaran. Use a binocular to spot it 0.8° to the upper left of 37 Tau.
Read more about the planets during March 2021.
September 14, 2022: Three bright planets and the moon are visible overnight. The moon is near Uranus before daybreak. The Sickle of Leo is in the eastern sky before sunrise.Keep reading
September 13, 2022: Contrary to Internet memes, Mars will not appear as large as the moon when the Red Planet is closest to Earth. Overnight a planet display with Mars, the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn arches across the sky.Keep reading
September 12, 2022: Mars continues its eastward trek with Taurus. Overnight, Saturn, Jupiter, the bright moon, and Mars put on an exhibition that stretches across over half the sky.Keep reading