April 9, 2021: Morning planets Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeast before sunrise with Capricornus as their starry background. During the evening, Mars continues to approach the Bull’s horns. Find the Red Planet about halfway up in the west after sunset.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:20 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 7:25 p.m. CDT. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Bright Jupiter and Saturn continue their climb into the morning sky. Jupiter is the brightest “star” in the southeast during morning twilight. Dimmer Saturn – 12.8° to the upper right of the Jovian Giant – is nearly 15° up in the southeast. In the starfield, Jupiter is passing Deneb Algiedi (δ Cap on the chart). The gap is 2.1°. Saturn is the same distance to the upper left of Theta Capricorni (θ Cap). Use a binocular to locate the dimmer starry background.
During the evening, find Mars as it approaches the Bull’s horns. The planet is about halfway up in the west as the sky darkens after sunset. It is well-above the “V” of Taurus made by Aldebaran and the Hyades star cluster.
This evening, Mars is 4.0° to the lower left of Elnath, “the one butting with horns,’ and 4.8° to the lower right of Zeta Tauri (ζ Tau on the chart).
Here’s more about Mars during 2021.
Read about Mars during April.
Detailed Note: One hour before sunrise, Jupiter is 10.0° above the east-southeast horizon. Saturn – nearly 15° up in the southeast – is 12.8° to the Jovian Giant’s upper right. In the starfield, Jupiter is 2.1° to the upper left of Deneb Algiedi, while Saturn is 2.1° to the upper right of θ Cap. One hour after sunset, Mars is halfway up in the west. It is 4.0° to the lower left of Elnath and 4.8° to the lower right of ζ Tau.
Read more about the planets during April 2021.
Mars is at its solar conjunction on October 7, 2021. It begins a slow return into the morning sky. By year’s end it appears low in the southeastern sky with the moon.
October 6, 2021: The moon is at its New moon phase today. This evening look for the three bright planets after sunset.
October 5, 2021: Before sunrise, a very thin moon is visible in the eastern sky. The evening planet pack – Evening Star Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn – are visible at the same time after sundown.
October 29, 2021: Today is the date for equal daylight and equal darkness for about 42° north latitude. This is not to be confused with the autumnal equinox.
October 4, 2021: Before sunrise, the razor-thin lunar crescent is low in the eastern sky.