2021, March 29: Morning Moon, Planets

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2021, March 29: One hour before sunrise, the nearly Full moon is in the west-southwest, 8.2° to the upper right of Spica.
2021, March 29: One hour before sunrise, the nearly Full moon is in the west-southwest, 8.2° to the upper right of Spica.

March 29, 2021: The first Full moon of Spring shines in the western sky this morning before sunrise, near the star Spica.  Farther eastward, Jupiter and Saturn shine from the southeastern sky.

by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Chicago, Illinois:  Sunrise, 6:38 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 7:13 p.m. CDT.  Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.

Morning Sky

The bright moon is in the west-southwest this morning.  It is 8.2° to the upper right of Spica, “the ear of corn,” the brightest star in Virgo.

When a full moon is near Spica this is a celestial marker that spring is here.  Now nine mornings after the equinox, the grouping of the moon and the star do not occur on the exact date.  Without a written calendar, the positions of celestial objects mark the passing seasons.

On April 12, Spica rises at sunset and appears to move across the sky during the nighttime hours.

2021, March 29: Jupiter and Saturn shine from the southeastern sky before sunrise. Jupiter is 11.5° to the lower left of Saturn.
2021, March 29: Jupiter and Saturn shine from the southeastern sky before sunrise. Jupiter is 11.5° to the lower left of Saturn.

This morning one hour before sunrise, two bright planets, Jupiter and Saturn, are in the southeastern sky.  Saturn is about 12° above the southeast horizon.  Bright Jupiter is lower in the sky, 11.5° to the lower left of Saturn.  The Jovian Giant is nearly 7° above the east-southeast horizon.

Detailed Note: One hour before sunrise, the moon (16.0d, 99%) is nearly 20° above the west-southwestern horizon, 8.2° to the upper right of Spica (“the ear of corn,” α Vir, m = 1.0).  Farther eastward along the ecliptic, Saturn is nearly 12° up in the southeast.  Brighter Jupiter – nearly 7° in altitude above the east-southeastern horizon – is 11.5° to the lower left of the Ringed Wonder. One hour after sunset, Mars is nearly 50° up in the west-southwest.  Among the stars of Taurus, it is 2.8° to the upper left of τ Tau, 3.2° to the right of ι Tau, and 8.5° below Elnath.  Two hours after sunset, the moon (16.7d, 97%), less than 10° up in the east, is 7.0° to the lower left of Spica.

Read more about the planets during March 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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