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.
October 23, 2021: This morning the bright moon is near the Pleiades star cluster. Mercury is making its best morning appearance. In the evening sky, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn are easy to spot.
October 22. 2021: Speedy Mercury is low in the east before sunrise. It is putting on its best morning performance of the year. Arcturus, in the east-northeast, is about the same altitude as Mercury.
October 21-November 1, 2021: Brilliant Venus steps through Ophiuchus to the upper left of the star Antares in the southwest after sunset . Afterward, the planet steps farther eastward.
October 21, 2021: The bright moon is low in the west about an hour before sunrise. Mercury is in the east at about the same altitude as Arcturus. Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter shine from the evening sky.
December 18, 2021: This is the anticipated launch date of the James Webb Space Telescope, the largest and most sophisticated space telescope view the universe.