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.
November 6, 2021: The midpoint of Autumn occurs today.
November 3, 2021: Before sunrise speedy planet Mercury, the crescent moon, and the star Spica are grouped together. The trio does not appear this close together again until 2033.
October 31, 2021: There is no Halloween Full moon this year, and the phase is not close. The crescent moon is in the morning sky. Mercury is low in the east-southeast before sunrise. The planet pack – Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter – gleam in the evening sky.
October 29, 2021: Venus reaches its greatest elongation from the sun. It is in the evening sky with Jupiter and Saturn. The crescent moon and Mercury are in the eastern sky before sunrise.
October 29 – November 1, 2021: The crescent moon moves in front of the stars of Leo in the eastern sky before sunrise. Watch the moon appear lower and the phase shrink (wane) each morning. Also note that there is no Full moon on Halloween this year!