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.
- 2023, October 20: Jupiter’s Double Shadows, Mercury at Superior ConjunctionOctober 20: After midnight, Jupiter’s moons’ shadows dance across the cloud tops. Mercury is at superior conjunction.
- 2023, October 19: Poured Moon, See Planet UranusOctober 19: Sagittarius seems to pour the moon into the sky this evening. Find Uranus with a binocular.
- 2023, October 18: Moon-Antares Conjunction, Bright PlanetsOctober 18, 2023: The moon is near Antares after sunset. Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn are in the sky during the nighttime hours.
- 2023, October 17: Scorpion MoonOctober 17, 2023: The crescent moon is with Scorpius during evening twilight. Venus and Jupiter gleam from the predawn sky.
- 2023, October 16: Venus in Starry ConjunctionOctober 16, 2023: Venus passes a star in Leo before sunrise. A crescent moon is low in the western sky during evening twilight.