April 6, 2021: Find Mars in the west after sunset. It is approaching the Bull’s horns. Mars, not as bright as it was a few months ago, is in a sea of the bright winter stars.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:25 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 7:22 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 west. It is approaching the horns of Taurus, Elnath – “the one butting with horns” – and Zeta Tauri (ζ Tau on the chart).
This evening, Mars is 4.8° to the lower left of Elnath.
Mars has dimmed considerably since Earth was between it and the sun during October last year. Earth revolves faster on its inner orbit and it has moved away from the Red Planet.
The brightness is about 40 times dimmer than when it was at its closest. The planet is still bright, but not dazzling. Its brightness puts it in the top 25 brightest “stars” in the sky.
Mars’ brightness seems reduced by the bright stars that are nearby, Aldebaran, Capella, Betelgeuse, Rigel, Procyon, Pollux and Castor.
Here’s more about Mars during 2021.
Read about Mars during April.
Detailed Note: One hour before sunrise, the moon (24.2d, 29%) is about 10° up in the southeast. Saturn is 4.7° to the upper left of the lunar slice. Bright Jupiter is 12.5° to the lower left of Saturn. In the starfield, Saturn is 2.3° to the upper right of θ Cap. Jupiter is 1.9° to the upper left of Deneb Algiedi. One hour after sunset, Mars (m = 1.4) is over halfway up in the west, 4.8° to the lower left of Elnath
Read more about the planets during April 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.