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.
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.