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.
January 3, 2022: The moon passes Venus for the final time of this evening appearance of Venus. As night falls, Mercury, Saturn, and Jupiter are visible in the southwest. Mars is in the southeast before sunrise.
December 30, 2021: As the year ends and the new one opens, the night sky’s brightest star – Sirius – is in the southern sky at the midnight hour.
December 31, 2021: This morning before sunup, the thin waning crescent moon appears near Mars and the star Antares. Four planets – Venus, Mercury, Saturn, and Jupiter – are on parade in the southwest after sundown.
December 30, 2021: The morning crescent moon seems to be captured in the Scorpion’s pincers to the upper right of Mars. Four Evening Planets – Venus, Mercury, Saturn, and Jupiter – are in the southwest after sundown.
December 28, 2021: The Great Andromeda Galaxy is nearly overhead at the end of the evening twilight.