2021, May – June: Venus from Taurus to Gemini

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.

2021, May 29: Brilliant Venus shines from the west-northwest after sunset. Mercury, with some magnification, is visible to the lower right of Venus.
2021, May 29: Brilliant Venus shines from the west-northwest after sunset. Mercury, with some magnification, is visible to the lower right of Venus.
May 27, Venus is 1.2° to the lower right of Mercury
May 27: Venus is 1.2° to the lower right of Mercury

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.

May 28: Forty-five minutes after sunset, observe Venus, nearly 6° up in the west-northwest. It is 0.4° to the upper right of Mercury.
May 28: Forty-five minutes after sunset, observe Venus, nearly 6° up in the west-northwest. It is 0.4° to the upper right of Mercury.

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.

June 11: The moon is 2.8° to the lower right of Venus.
June 11: The moon is 2.8° to the lower right of Venus.

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.

June 21: Venus passes 5.2° to the lower left of Pollux.
June 21: Venus passes 5.2° to the lower left of Pollux.

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.

Venus as an Evening Star Article



Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

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