March 13, 2021: With the vernal equinox a week away, daylight nears 12 hours. The moon is at its New phase this morning. Two morning planets, Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeastern sky before sunrise.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:05 a.m. CST; Sunset, 5:55 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
The moon is at its New phase at 4:21 a.m. CST. The nighttime portion of the moon is facing Earth. The moon’s far side is fully illuminated in sunlight, while the earth-facing side is fully in darkness.
Tomorrow evening the moon appears as a thin crescent in the western sky shortly after sunset.
Notice how the sunrise and sunset times are converging on about 12 hours. Today daylight is 11 hours, 50 minutes long.
During the night tonight, Daylight Saving Time begins for most of the USA and Canada. Clocks are advanced one hour forward to push daylight into the evening hours. Contrary to popular thinking, an hour of daylight is not invented.
During standard time, the sun is south at “noon.” During daylight time, the sun is south at 1 p.m.
This morning Jupiter and Saturn are low in the southeastern sky before sunrise. Off their great conjunction on winter solstice day, Jupiter slowly steps away from Saturn. It will take 20 years for Jupiter to pull away and catch Saturn again.
The gap between the planets is 9.6°. Jupiter is bright and to the lower left of Saturn.
Detailed Note: The moon is at its New phase at 4:21 a.m. CST. Forty-five minutes before sunrise, Saturn is nearly 9° in altitude above the southeast horizon. Jupiter – nearly 5° in altitude above the east-southeast horizon – is 9.6° to the lower left of Saturn. One hour after sunset, Mars is 56.0° up in the west-southwest The Red Planet passes 7.2° to the upper right of Gamma Tauri (γ Tau, m = 3.6). The star is near the point of the “V” of Taurus in the Hyades star cluster. Through a telescope spot κ Tau, 2.8° to the upper left of Mars, while υ Tau is 3.0° to the planet’s upper left.
Read more about the planets during March 2021.
- 2023, October 16: Venus in Starry ConjunctionOctober 16, 2023: Venus passes a star in Leo before sunrise. A crescent moon is low in the western sky during evening twilight.
- 2023, October 16-22: Celestial Events for the WeekOctober 16-22, 2023: The moon returns to the evening sky. Venus steps eastward in front of Leo, and a meteor shower is visible.
- 2023, October 15: Three Bright PlanetsOctober 15, 2023: Brilliant Venus and Jupiter are visible before sunrise. Saturn is above the southeast horizon after sundown.
- 2023, October 14: Solar Eclipse, Morning PlanetsOctober 14, 2023: A solar eclipse is visible across the western hemisphere. Brilliant Venus and Jupiter are visible before sunrise.
- 2023, October 13: Moon’s Last Glimpse, Bright Morning PlanetsOctober 13, 2023: Before tomorrow’s eclipse, see a razor-thin moon before sunrise. Venus and Jupiter shine brightly during morning twilight.