March 14, 2021: On this first day of Daylight Saving Time, look for the crescent moon low in the western sky about 30 minutes after sunset. Mars is high in the west-southwest as the sky darkens.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 7:04 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 6:57 p.m. CDT. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
With our clocks an hour faster than the sun, evening observing seems to occur later than last night. No additional daylight was created with the switch of the clocks. Your clock is running an hour ahead of the sun.
Thirty minutes after sunset, the thin crescent moon is about 9° up in the west. You may need a binocular to initially locate the razor thin crescent that is only 2% illuminated.
As the sky darkens further, Mars is high in the west-southwest among the stars of Taurus. It is below a line from Aldebaran through Epsilon Tauri (ε Tau on the chart), the star on the opposite side of the “V” that makes the head of the celestial Bull. Tomorrow evening Mars is on that imaginary line.
Mars is moving toward Kappa Tauri (κ Tau) and Upsilon Tauri (υ Tau). Use a binocular to locate the stars as Mars moves in that direction.
The planet is moving toward the horns of Taurus, Elnath and Zeta Tauri (ζ Tau). It passes between them next month.
Here’s more about Mars during 2021.
Read about Mars during March.
Detailed Note: Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. CST when the clocks are advanced to 3 a.m. CDT. The time interval in these notes remain the same. Forty-five minutes before sunrise, Saturn and Jupiter are low in the southeastern sky. Saturn is over 9° in altitude and brighter Jupiter is over 5° up in the sky, 9.7° to the lower left of Saturn. Thirty minutes after sunset, the thin crescent moon (1.6d, 2%) is about 9° above the western horizon. As the sky darkens further, over 55° in altitude in the west-southwest, Mars is below a line that connects Aldebaran and extends through Epsilon Tauri (ε Tau, m = 3.5). Tomorrow, Mars is on that line. Mars continues its eastward march. This evening, use a binocular to locate κ Tau and υ Tau, to the upper left of Mars. Mars is 2.2° and 2.4° to the lower right of the stars, respectively.
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.