March 25, 2021: Jupiter and Saturn continue to climb into the morning sky. Find them above the southeastern horizon before sunrise. The bright moon is in front of the stars of Leo after sunset, while Mars marches eastward in Taurus.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:45 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 7:09 p.m. CDT. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Bright Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeastern sky before sunrise. Jupiter is low in the east-southeast. One hour before sunrise it is about 6° above the horizon. As the sky brightens, it appears higher in the sky. Saturn is 11.0° to the upper right of Jupiter.
Your fist at arm’s length, from thumb knuckle to pinky finger knuckle, is about 10°. Your fist should fit between the planets as viewed against the morning sky.
The bright moon, 90% illuminated, is halfway up in the sky in the east-southeast in front of the stars of Leo. From the mid-northern latitudes in North America, it is 1.1° to the lower left of Eta Leonis (η Leo). From western Africa through Central America, the moon blocks out the star. The details are in the link in the note below.
Farther west, Mars is moving eastward among the stars of Taurus. With the moon’s brightness, a binocular helps locate the stars with the planet. Mars is 0.8° to the upper right of Tau Tauri (τ Tau).
Here’s more about Mars during 2021.
Read about Mars during March.
Detailed Note: One hour before sunrise, Saturn is over 10° up in the southeast. Jupiter is 11.0° of ecliptic longitude east of Saturn. The Jovian Giant is nearly 6° above the east-southeast horizon. One hour after sunset, the bright moon (12.6d, 90%) is over halfway up in the east-southeast, 4.2° to the upper left of Regulus and 1.1° to the lower left of Eta Leonis (η Leo, m = 3.5). There is a lunar occultation with η Leo that occurs in North America from about 40° North latitude to nearly the southern end of Central America, although it occurs during daylight hours, before sunset. The occultation is visible in a darker sky from western Africa to the eastern Caribbean. See http://www.lunar-occultations.com/iota/bstar/0326zc1484.htm. Farther west, Mars is in Taurus. Find the planet above the “V,” made by Aldebaran and the Hyades, 0.8° to the upper right of τ Tau.
Read more about the planets during March 2021.
April 25, 2021: Mercury passes Evening Star Venus this evening after sunset. Look low in the western sky about 20 minutes after sunset. Mars is marching eastward in Gemini, near the star cluster Messier 35. The bright moon is near Spica.
April 25, 2021: Morning planets Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeast before sunrise. Jupiter is in front of the stars of Aquarius, while Saturn’s starry background is Capricornus.
April 24, 2021: Brilliant Evening Star Venus and bright Mercury are entering the evening sky. They are low in the west-northwest during evening twilight. The bright moon is in the southeast in Virgo. Mars moves into Gemini as it approaches the star cluster Messier 35.
April 24, 2021: The bright gibbous moon is near a star in Virgo during the early morning. From parts of the Western Hemisphere, the moon covers the star. Before sunrise, bright morning planets, Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeast before sunrise.
April 23, 2021: Evening Star Venus and Mercury are entering the evening sky. They are found very low in the west-northwest after sunset. The bright moon is in the southeastern sky during the early evening. Mars is moving toward the star cluster Messier 35.