March 22, 2021: Jupiter and Saturn continue to slowly climb into the morning sky. Find them low in the southeastern sky before sunrise. After sunset, the bright gibbous moon is high in the southern sky near Pollux, one of the Gemini Twins. Mars is farther west in Taurus. It continues its eastward march through the starfields of the constellation.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:50 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 7:06 p.m. CDT. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Jupiter and Saturn are low in the southeastern sky before sunrise. Forty-five minutes before sunup, Jupiter is over 7° above the east-southeast horizon. Dimmer Saturn – nearly 12° up in the southeast – is 10.7° to the upper right of the Jovian Giant.
Use a binocular to locate the dimmer star Theta Capricorni (θ Cap on the chart) to the lower left of Saturn. Jupiter is to the lower left of Iota Capricorni (ι Cap). During the next several mornings watch Jupiter move away from the neighboring star while Saturn very slowly inches toward θ Cap.
This evening the bright gibbous moon – 70° up in the south-southwest – is 6.0° to the lower right of Pollux, one of the Gemini Twins. As the moon’s phase waxes, the sky brightens and dims the fainter stars.
Farther west, Mars is over halfway up in the west-southwest. The planet continues its eastward march in Taurus. It is approaching the star Tau Tauri (τ Tau on the chart). This evening the gap is 1.5° with Mars to the lower right of the star. Use a binocular to locate the starry background with the brighter planet.
Here’s more about Mars during 2021.
Read about Mars during March.
Detailed Note: Forty-five minutes before sunrise, Saturn is nearly 12° in altitude in the southeast, while Jupiter is over 7° in altitude above the east-southeast horizon, 10.7° to the lower left of the Ringed Wonder. Use a binocular to spot θ Cap, 3.5° to the lower left of Saturn. Jupiter is 3.4° to the lower left of ι Cap. In the evening one hour after sunset, Mars is over 50° up in the west-southwest, 1.5° to the lower right of τ Tau. Farther east, the bright moon (9.6d, 64%) is over 70° above the southern horizon, 6.0° to the lower right of Pollux (β Gem, m =1.2).
Read more about the planets during March 2021.
December 28, 2021: The Great Andromeda Galaxy is nearly overhead at the end of the evening twilight.
December 29, 2021: The morning crescent moon approaches Scorpius and Mars. In the evening sky, four evening planets – Venus, Mercury, Saturn, and Jupiter – are lined up in the southwest. Venus is rapidly leaving the evening sky.
November 28, 2021: During twilight this evening, the three bright evening planets – Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter – are on parade in the southwestern sky.
December 28, 2021: Brilliant Venus is quickly slipping from the evening sky. Mercury appears beneath Venus after sunset. This duo is joined by Jupiter and Saturn. In the morning, Mars is near Antares and the moon near Spica.
December 27, 2021: The Red Planet Mars passes Antares this morning before sunrise. At the same hour, the moon is near Spica. The three bright planets – Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter – are in the evening sky.