2021, April 19: First Evening Appearance of Venus

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April 19, 2021:  The first evening appearance of Venus for this apparition occurs this evening.  Look for it low in the west-northwest about 20 minutes after sunset.

Chart Caption – 2021, April 19: Venus makes its first evening appearance of the apparition, 20 minutes after sunset.

After its superior conjunction with the sun on March 26, 2021, Venus is making its first evening appearance.

The planet can be found during bright twilight without a binocular.  Begin looking for it about 20 minutes after sunset.  It is only 2° above the horizon. Use a binocular to first locate the planet and then attempt to spot it without optical help.

The planet sets 30 minutes after sunset, so the window is narrow to catch it on this first evening of visibility.

The evening of the first sighting is highly dependent on the clarity of the sky at the horizon and the observer’s place.  A natural horizon, free of obstructions, is needed to make this observation. A hill or structure is helpful to see the horizon.

Following the first appearance, the planet sets about two minutes later each evening during the rest of April.  It appears higher in the sky at the same time interval after sunset. By month’s end, Venus sets 45 minutes after sunset.

Read more about Venus in our summary document.

Venus from Galileo (NASA photo)

2021, May 28: Close Venus – Mercury Conjunction

May 28, 2021:  This evening Mercury passes brilliant Venus for the second of three conjunctions during this evening apparition of the second planet from the sun.  Use a binocular about 45 minutes after sunset to see the speedy planet 0.4° to the lower left of Venus.  This is the closest visible conjunction until 2033.

2021, May 24: Planets in a Plane

May 24, 2021: Morning planets Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeast before sunrise.  In the evening sky, brilliant Evening Star Venus, Mercury, and Mars line up along the solar system’s plane.  The bright moon is in the southeast near Zubenelgenubi, “the southern claw.”

2021, May 23: Planet Parade Marches On

May 23, 2021:  Five bright planets parade across the sky.  Jupiter and Saturn are visible before sunrise in the southeastern sky.  The star Fomalhaut is becoming visible below bright Jupiter and near the horizon.   After sundown, Evening Star Venus, Mercury, and Mars are in the western sky.  The bright moon is in the southeastern sky during the nighttime hours.

2021, May 22: Parading Five Planets

May 22, 2021: Five planets parade across the sky.  Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeast before sunrise. Evening Star Venus, Mercury and Mars are in the western sky after sunset.  A bright moon is in the southeastern sky.

2021, May 21: Evening Planet Ballet

May 21, 2021: Three bright planets are dancing in the western sky after sundown.  Evening Star Venus is entering the sky for a months-long residency after its solar conjunction two months ago.  Mercury is heading for a conjunction with Venus after its best evening appearance of the year.  Mars continues its eastward march in Gemini, but time is running out on its appearance as it approaches brighter evening twilight and a conjunction with Venus.



Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

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