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.
- 2023, December 26: Cold Moon, Venus, Jupiter, SaturnDecember 26, 2023: The Cold Moon is visible during the nighttime hours. Venus shines before sunrise while Jupiter and Saturn are visible after sundown.
- 2023, December 25: Telescope First Light, Bright PlanetsDecember 25, 2023: For sky watchers with new telescopes, here’s what to look at before dawn or after sunset.
- 2023, December 24: Morning Moon, Pleiades, Antares Heliacal RisingDecember 24, 2023: The moon appears near the Pleiades star cluster during the earlier morning hours. Antares is at its first morning appearance, known as the heliacal rising.
- 2023, December 23: Check out Planet Uranus, Pleiades near MoonDecember 23, 2023: Look for the planet Uranus and the Pleiades star cluster through a binocular during nighttime hours.
- 2023, December 22: Mercury at Inferior Conjunction, Bright Jupiter, Gibbous MoonDecember 22, 2023: Mercury is between Earth and Sun, known as inferior conjunction. Jupiter and the gibbous moon are celestial companions during nighttime hours.