2021, April: Mars, From Taurus Into Gemini

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2021, April: Mars moves through Taurus, between the Bull's horns, and into Gemini.
2021, April: Mars moves through Taurus, between the Bull’s horns, and into Gemini.

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During April, Mars moves from Taurus into Gemini.  The planet begins the evening about 50° up in the west below the horns of Taurus, Elnath and Zeta Tauri (ζ Tau), and above the “V” of Taurus with the bright star Aldebaran.  By month’s end, the planet is over one-third of the way up in the sky after sunset.  On April 30, it sets over 4 hours after sunset.  Here are the highlights of Mars position during the month.  Time for each daily note is one hour after sunset.

  • April 1: Mars is about 50° up in the west.  Tonight, it passes 2.6° to the upper right of Iota Tauri.
  • April 11: About halfway up in the west, Mars passes 3.9° to the lower left of Elnath, the Northern Horn of Taurus.
  • April 12: About halfway up in the west after sunset, Mars is below a line from Elnath to Zeta Tauri (ζ Tau). The planet is 4.0° to the lower left of Elnath and 3.9° to the upper right of ζ Tau, the Southern Horn of Taurus.
  • April 13: Less than halfway up in the west, Mars is above the line that extends between the horns of Taurus.
2021, April 16: Mars, the lunar crescent, and Elnath - the North Horn of Taurus - fit into the field of view of a binocular.
2021, April 16: Mars, the lunar crescent, and Elnath – the North Horn of Taurus – fit into the field of view of a binocular.
  • April 16: Over 40° up in the west, Mars – above the line that extends between the Bull’s horns – is 5.7° to the upper left of the crescent moon (5.0 days after the New moon phase, 20% illuminated).  Fit one of the horns, the lunar crescent, and Mars into a binocular field.  All four are too far apart to fit into the field simultaneously.
2021, April 17: As night falls, use a binocular to view the lunar crescent near the star cluster M35, with Mars to the lower right of the field of view.
2021, April 17: As night falls, use a binocular to view the lunar crescent near the star cluster M35, with Mars to the lower right of the field of view.
  • April 17: Over 40° up in the west, Mars is 5.8° to the lower right of the moon (6.0d, 29%).  The moon is 0.7° to the upper right of the star cluster M35 (NGC 2168). This star cluster has overall characteristics like the Pleiades star cluster and Hyades star cluster, although it is more distant.  Use a binocular to spot Mars, the lunar slice, and the star cluster.
  • April 24: Less than 40° up in the west, Mars moves into Gemini, 3.6° to the lower right of Eta Geminorum (η Gem,).
  • April 26: Less than 40° up in the west, Mars is 0.6° to the upper right of the star cluster M35. Use a binocular to view Mars with the cluster.
  • April 29: Less than 40° in altitude above the western horizon, Mars passes 2.3° to the upper right of η Gem.

Here’s more about Mars during 2021.

Moon in the Bull's Horns. October 8, 2020

2021, August 14: Waxing Moon, Stellar Double

August 14, 2021: This evening the waxing moon is near Zubenelgenubi, the southern claw, that is a stellar double.  Use a binocular to see both stars that are in a gravitation dance.

Moon and Venus, August 15, 2020

2021, August 13: Evening Sky, Bright Planets

August 13, 2021: This evening the crescent moon appears between Evening Star Venus and Spica as the lunar slice dances eastward.  Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeastern sky.

The crescent moon, November 19, 2020

2021, August 12: Evening Sky, Lunar Dance

August 12, 2021: This evening the crescent moon appears between Venus and Spica as the lunar slice dances eastward.

2021, May 13: The crescent moon is 3.2° to the upper left of Mercury.

2021, August 11: Waxing Moon, Evening Star

August 11, 2021:  The waxing crescent moon is to the upper left of Evening Star Venus this evening in the western sky.

The Crescent Moon, November 16, 2020

2021, August 10: Evening Star Venus, Crescent Moon

August 10, 2021:  The crescent moon is near Venus in the western sky after sunset.



Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

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