2021, August – September: Venus in Virgo

2021, August 10: The moon the moon is 5.7° to the right of Venus.

Still visible low in the western sky during evening twilight, Venus treks through Virgo during 39 evenings, beginning August 10.  During mid-August attempt to view five planets in the sky simultaneously. The challenging view is with Mercury and Mars that are low in the western sky during very bright twilight. Venus passes Spica on September 5.  A nice grouping of Venus, the moon, and Spica occurs on September 9.  Near mid-month, Venus begins to rapidly close on Earth. The planet quickly brightens in the sky. After late September, Venus begins to set after the end of evening twilight.

The time interval for the descriptions and charts is 45 minutes after sunset. To track Venus as it moves through the constellation and passes dimmer stars, see this, semi-technical summary.

Venus as an Evening Star Article

On August 10 and August 11, the crescent moon is near Venus.  On August 10, the moon – 7% illuminated – is 5.7° to the right of Venus.

2021, August 11: The crescent moon is 8.1° to the upper left of Venus.

On the next evening the moon – 14% illuminated – is 8.1° to the upper left of the brilliant planet.

During mid-August, it may be possible to see five planets simultaneously.  Mercury and Mars are the challenging grouping.  Mercury is making a poorly-observed visit.

2021, August 24: Venus passes 2.5° to the lower left of Gamma Virginis (γ Vir).

On August 24, Venus passes 2.5° to the lower left of Gamma Virginis (γ Vir on the chart).

2021, September 5: Venus passes is 1.5° to the upper right of Spica.

Venus passes Spica, the constellation’s brightest star on September 5, when the planet is 1.5° to the upper right of the star.

2021, September 9: Venus, the crescent moon, and Spica make a nice triangle in the western sky after sunset.

On September 9, less than 8° above the west-southwest horizon, Venus is 3.9° to the lower left of the moon.  Notice Spica, 5.0° from Venus, makes a nice triangle with the planet and the moon.  Spica is 4.8° below the moon.  The chart above shows a simulated binocular view of the scene.  See them low in the west-southwest.

2021, July 26: Evening Sky, Mars Closes In

July 26, 2021:  Four bright planets are in the evening sky.  Mars closes in on Regulus for their conjunction in three evenings.  Brilliant Evening Star Venus appears to the upper left of the impending Mars – Regulus conjunction.  Saturn and Jupiter are low in the southeastern sky after sunset.

2021, July 25: Evening Sky, Mars on Final Approach

July 25, 2021:  Four evenings before its conjunction with Regulus, find Mars in the western sky to the lower right of Venus.  As the calendar day ends, look for the moon below bright Jupiter.

2021, July 24: Four Evening Planets, Moon

July 24, 2021: After sunset, Venus and Mars are in the western sky.  A little later during evening hours, the moon is near Jupiter and Saturn in the southeast.

2021, July 29: Jupiter – Mars Opposition

July 29, 2021:  Jupiter and Mars are 180° apart along the ecliptic.  Dim Mars sets in the west-northwest as Jupiter rises in the east-southeast.  This event signals that soon both appear in the sky simultaneously.

Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

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