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.
November 6, 2021: The midpoint of Autumn occurs today.
November 3, 2021: Before sunrise speedy planet Mercury, the crescent moon, and the star Spica are grouped together. The trio does not appear this close together again until 2033.
October 31, 2021: There is no Halloween Full moon this year, and the phase is not close. The crescent moon is in the morning sky. Mercury is low in the east-southeast before sunrise. The planet pack – Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter – gleam in the evening sky.
October 29, 2021: Venus reaches its greatest elongation from the sun. It is in the evening sky with Jupiter and Saturn. The crescent moon and Mercury are in the eastern sky before sunrise.
October 29 – November 1, 2021: The crescent moon moves in front of the stars of Leo in the eastern sky before sunrise. Watch the moon appear lower and the phase shrink (wane) each morning. Also note that there is no Full moon on Halloween this year!