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.
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.