2021, April 24: Lunar Occultation, Morning Planets, Jupiter Saturn

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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.

Chart Caption – 2021, April 24: In this simulated binocular view, the gibbous moon is near Nu Virginis (ν Vir).

by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Chicago, Illinois:  Sunrise, 5:56 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 7:42 p.m. CDT.  Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.

During the early morning hours, the moon covers the star Nu Virginis (ν Vir on the chart) as seen from southern Florida, across the Gulf Coast, Mexico, and Central America, and throughout the American West.  For more details at your location, follow the link in the detailed note below.

From Chicago, the bright moon is 0.3° to the lower left of the star at about 2:30 a.m. CDT.

Chart Caption – 2021, April 24: Bright morning planets, Jupiter and Saturn, are in the southeast before sunrise.

Later in the morning during early morning twilight, bright Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeast.

An hour before sunrise, Jupiter is nearly 15° up in the east-southeast. Just one day before it moves into Aquarius, Jupiter is 4.0° to the upper left of Deneb Algiedi, “the kid’s tail” (δ Cap on the chart), 1.2° to the lower left of Mu Capricorni (μ Cap) and 2.1° to the upper right of Iota Capricorni (ι Cap).

Use a binocular to see the dimmer starfield with theses planets.

Saturn, dimmer that Jupiter, is 14.5° to the upper right of the Jovian Giant.  The Ringed Wonder is slowly moving eastward near the star Theta Capricorni (θ Cap on the chart).  The gap this morning is 1.3°.

Detailed Note: During the early morning hours, the moon is near Nu Virginis (ν Vir, m = 4.0).  At about 2:30 a.m. CDT, the moon is 0.3° to the lower left of the star.  From southern Florida, across the Gulf Coast, Mexico, and Central America, and throughout the American West, the moon blocks the star.  See http://www.lunar-occultations.com/iota/bstar/0424zc1702.htm  for details for your location. One hour before sunrise, Jupiter is nearly 15° above the east-southeast horizon.  It is 4.0° to the upper left of Deneb Algiedi, 1.2° to the lower left of μ Cap, and 2.1° to the upper right of ι Aqr.  Saturn, not as bright as Jupiter, is 14.5° to the upper right of Jupiter.  The Ringed Wonder is 1.3° to the upper right of θ Cap.  Twenty minutes after sunset, Venus is slowly climbing into the evening sky.  It is less than 3° up in the west-northwest. Mercury (m = −1.7) is 1.3° to the lower right of Venus. One hour after sunset, Mars – in Gemini – is 1.6° to the right of 1 Gem and 3.6° to the lower right of Propus. With a bright sky from the moon, use a binocular to view the star cluster M35, 1.4° to the upper left of Mars.  The bright moon (13.0d, 94%) is less than 40° up in the southeast.  It is 4.1° above Porrima (γ Vir, m = 3.4).  Arcturus (α Boo, m = −0.1) has nearly the same altitude as the lunar orb.  The star is over 30° to the left of the star.  Spica (α Vir, m = 1.0) is nearly 19° to the lower left the moon.

Read more about the planets during April 2021.

2021, July 26: Evening Sky, Mars Closes In

July 26, 2021:  Four bright planets are in the evening sky.  Mars closes in on Regulus for their conjunction in three evenings.  Brilliant Evening Star Venus appears to the upper left of the impending Mars – Regulus conjunction.  Saturn and Jupiter are low in the southeastern sky after sunset.

2021, July 25: Evening Sky, Mars on Final Approach

July 25, 2021:  Four evenings before its conjunction with Regulus, find Mars in the western sky to the lower right of Venus.  As the calendar day ends, look for the moon below bright Jupiter.

2021, July 24: Four Evening Planets, Moon

July 24, 2021: After sunset, Venus and Mars are in the western sky.  A little later during evening hours, the moon is near Jupiter and Saturn in the southeast.

2021, July 29: Jupiter – Mars Opposition

July 29, 2021:  Jupiter and Mars are 180° apart along the ecliptic.  Dim Mars sets in the west-northwest as Jupiter rises in the east-southeast.  This event signals that soon both appear in the sky simultaneously.



Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

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