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.
August 14, 2021: This evening the waxing moon is near Zubenelgenubi, the southern claw, that is a stellar double. Use a binocular to see both stars that are in a gravitation dance.
August 13, 2021: This evening the crescent moon appears between Evening Star Venus and Spica as the lunar slice dances eastward. Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeastern sky.
August 12, 2021: This evening the crescent moon appears between Venus and Spica as the lunar slice dances eastward.
August 11, 2021: The waxing crescent moon is to the upper left of Evening Star Venus this evening in the western sky.
August 10, 2021: The crescent moon is near Venus in the western sky after sunset.