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.
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.