March 28, 2021: The Worm Moon is in the east after sunset. Farther west, Mars marches eastward in Taurus. Use a binocular to see dimmer stars in the bright moonlight.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:40 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 7:12 p.m. CDT. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
This evening the bright moon’s light dominates the sky. It was Full at 1:48 p.m. CDT today. The Old Farmer’s Almanac calls this seasonal full moon, the Worm Moon. This moonlight makes it difficult to view the dimmer stars in the sky. To see more stars, stand in the shadow of a building, house, or other structure. For stars near the moon, hold up your hand to block its light as you would to shield your eyes from the sun.
An hour after sunset, the moon is only 10° up in the east. It is below Porrima.
Farther west, Mars is marching eastward in Taurus toward the horns, Elnath and Zeta Tauri (ζ Tau). It is now beyond Aldebaran and the two star clusters, Hyades and Pleiades.
Use a binocular to find it 2.3° above Tau Tauri (τ Tau) and 3.6° to the lower right of Iota Tauri (ι Tau).
Here’s more about Mars during 2021.
Read about Mars during March.
Detailed Note: One hour before sunrise Saturn is over 11° above the southeastern horizon, 11.4° to the upper right of bright Jupiter. The Jovian Giant is over 6° up in the east-southeast. Use a binocular to see the planets in front of the starry background. Saturn is 3.0° to the upper right of θ Cap, while Jupiter is 4.6° to the lower left of ι Cap. Farther west, the moon (15.0d, 100%) is nearly 14° up in the west. Because of its brightness, block the moon’s glare to spot Eta Virginis (η Vir, m = 3.9), 3.3° to the lower left of the moon, and Porrima (γ Vir, m = 3.4), 7.6° to the upper left of the lunar orb. The moon is Full (Worm Moon) at 1:48 p.m. CDT. One hour after sunset, the moon (15.6d, 100%) is less than 10° above the eastern horizon, 3.0° below Porrima. Farther west, Mars – over 50° up in the west-southwest – is 2.3° above τ Tau and 3.6° to the lower right of ι Tau. The planet is 9.0° below Elnath. Because of the bright moonlight, use a binocular to see Mars with the sidereal background.
Read more about the planets during March 2021.
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.