March 12, 2021: Mars is high in the west-southwest after sunset, march eastward in front of the stars of Taurus.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:07 a.m. CST; Sunset, 5:54 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
One hour after sunset look for Mars high in the west-southwest. During the night, the planet and background stars appear lower in the sky, setting about 6 hours after sunset.
The planet is to the upper left of the Pleiades star cluster and to the right of the “V” of Taurus with Aldebaran, the constellation’s brightest star.
Mars is to the upper left of 37 Tauri (37 Tau on the chart). It is moving toward Kappa Tauri (κ Tau) and Upsilon Tauri (υ Tau). Use a binocular to watch it approach the stellar pair during the next few evenings.
Mars continues its eastward march, moving toward Elnath and Zeta Tauri, the Bull’s Horns. It moves between them during mid-April.
Here’s more about Mars during 2021.
Read about Mars during March.
Detailed Note: Forty-five minutes before sunrise, Saturn is nearly 9° above the southeast horizon. Over 4° in altitude, Jupiter is 9.5° to Saturn’s lower left. Use a binocular to locate Theta Capricorni (θ Cap, m = 4.1) nearly midway between the two planets. One hour after sunset, Mars is high in the west-southwestern sky, marching eastward among the stars of Taurus. It is 8.4° to the right of Aldebaran. Use a binocular to find 37 Tau, 1.4° to the lower right of the planet. Mars is generally moving toward neighbor stars to the upper right of the “V” of Taurus, Kappa Tauri (κ Tau, m = 4.2) and Upsilon Tauri (υ Tau, m = 4.2). This evening, Mars is 3.4° to the lower left of κ Tau and 3.6° to the lower left of υ 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