During May and June, 2021, Venus is low in the western sky after sunset. Find a clear horizon to see it. Forty-five minutes after sunset, the brilliant planet is very low in the sky. Venus begins this observing sequence between the horns of Taurus then steps into Gemini. The moon joins the bright planet on June 11. Venus passes Pollux on June 21.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Use a binocular to track Venus through the starfields.
On May 27, Venus is 1.2° to the lower right of Mercury. Venus is slightly over 5° above the west-northwest horizon. Use a binocular. You might be able to see Elnath, to the upper right of Venus and Zeta Tauri (ζ Tau) to the planet’s upper left.
The planet is setting at its most northerly azimuth, 304°. This continues through June 14, then the planet begins to set farther southward.
On the next evening May 28, Venus is 0.4° to the upper right of Mercury and above a line that connects Elnath and Zeta Tauri.
Venus moves into Gemini on June 2 and begins to pass the dimmer stars of the constellation. For those wanting to track the planet’s conjunctions in Gemini with a binocular, they are summarized here.
The crescent moon joins Venus on June 11. The lunar slice is 2.8° to the lower right of Venus. Forty-five minutes after sunset, the pair is only about 7° up in the west-northwest.
Ten days later (June 21), Venus passes 5.2° to the lower left of Pollux. The brilliant planet is over 8° in altitude in the west-northwest about 45 minutes after sunset.
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.
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.
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.
July 23, 2021: Four bright planets are visible during evening hours. Venus and Mars are in the western sky after sunset. A little later, the moon is near Saturn and Jupiter in the southeastern sky.
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.