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

Full moon

Full Moon (NASA Photo)

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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, December 29: Moon Nears Scorpion, Venus Departs

December 29, 2021: The morning crescent moon approaches Scorpius and Mars.  In the evening sky, four evening planets – Venus, Mercury, Saturn, and Jupiter – are lined up in the southwest.  Venus is rapidly leaving the evening sky.

2021, December 28:  Venus Slips, Mercury Hops

December 28, 2021:  Brilliant Venus is quickly slipping from the evening sky.  Mercury appears beneath Venus after sunset.  This duo is joined by Jupiter and Saturn.  In the morning, Mars is near Antares and the moon near Spica.

2021, December 27:  Mars – Antares Conjunction

December 27, 2021:  The Red Planet Mars passes Antares this morning before sunrise.  At the same hour, the moon is near Spica.  The three bright planets – Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter – are in the evening sky.

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