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.
August 2, 2021: Saturn is at opposition with the sun. Earth is between the sun and the planet.
August 1 – 6, 2021: The morning moon wanes toward its New moon phase in the eastern sky. It passes the bright stars that are prominent in the evening sky during the winter season in the northern hemisphere. The stars have been making their first appearances in the morning sky during summer. At this hour, Procyon and bright Sirius are the last stellar duo to appear.
August 6, 2021: In the northern hemisphere, summer’s midpoint occurs today at 6:27 p.m. CDT.
July 31, 2021: The slightly gibbous moon, nearing its Last Quarter phase, is in the southeast as morning twilight begins. It is near the planet Uranus, easily within reach of a binocular. Mira, a variable star, reaches its brightest next month.
July 29, 2021: In a challenging-to-see conjunction, Mars passes 0.6° to the upper right of the star Regulus.