March 29, 2021: Mars is in the west-southwest after sunset, above the “V” of Taurus. The moon is low in the eastern sky about two hours after sunset.
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.
One hour after sunset, Mars is over halfway up in the sky above the west-southwest horizon. The Red Planet is marching eastward in Taurus. It is above the “V” of Taurus that is made by Aldebaran, “the follower,” and the Hyades star cluster.
The planet is moving toward the Bull’s horns, Elnath, “the one butting with horns,” and Zeta Tauri (ζ Tau on the chart). Watch Mars move between the horns on April 12 and April 13.
Use a binocular to spot the starry background with the planet. Mars is 2.8° to the upper left of Tau Tauri (τ Tau on the chart) and 3.2° to the right of Iota Tauri (ι Tau).
Two hours after sunset, the bright moon is less than 10° up in the eastern sky. The lunar orb is 7.0° to the lower left of Spica, “the ear of corn,” the brightest star in Virgo.
Their grouping is a sign that spring is here. It is important to note that the moon passes Spica each month. The full moon is near the star near the beginning of spring. This year this occurs nine days after the equinox.
Here’s more about Mars during 2021.
Read about Mars during March.
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.
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.