2021, April 27: Evening Star Venus, Mercury, Mars, Moon in Pincers

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April 27, 2021: Evening Star Venus and Mercury climb into the evening sky in the west-northwest after sunset.  In a darker sky, Mars marches eastward in Gemini, near the feet of the Twins.  Look for the moon caught in the pincers of the Scorpion.

Chart Caption – 2021, April 27: Evening Star Venus and bright Mercury are low in the west-northwest after sunset.

by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Chicago, Illinois:  Sunrise, 5:52 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 7:45 p.m. CDT.  Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.

Venus continues its slow climb into the evening sky, as Mercury is enroute to its best evening appearance of the year.  Find them low in the west-northwest 20 minutes after sunset.  At this time, Venus is about 4° above the horizon.  Mercury, about the brightest of Sirius, is 2.3° above Venus.  First find them with a binocular.  Can you see them without optical aid?

Read more about Venus in our summary document.

Chart Caption – 2021, April 27: One hour after sunset, Mars is less than halfway up in the west, near the feet of Gemini.

As the sky darkens further, Venus and Mercury set.  By an hour after sunset, Mars is less than 40° up in the west, among the stars of Gemini.  Not as bright as it was at the beginning of the year, Mars continues its eastward march against the distant starry background.

This evening, Mars is 2.5° to the upper right of Propus, “the projecting foot” (η Gem on the chart) and 3.6° to the lower right of Tejat Posterior, “the heel,” (μ Gem).

Chart Caption – 2021, April 27: Through a binocular, Mars is 0.8° to the upper right of the star cluster Messier 35 (M35).

Before the moon rises, use a binocular to spot Mars 0.8° to the upper right of the star cluster Messier 35 (M35).

Chart Caption – 2021, April 27: Two hours after sunset, the bright moon appears caught in the pincers of the celestial Scorpion.

By two hours after sunset, the bright moon is above the horizon in the east-southeast.  It seems to be trapped in the Scorpion’s pincers, Zubenelgenubi and Zubeneschamali.  These stars are part of Libra today, but their names have retained their names and association to the celestial Scorpion.

Here’s more about Mars during 2021.

Read about Mars during April.

Detailed Note: One hour before sunrise, Saturn is over 20° up in the southeast and 1.1° to the upper right of θ Cap.  Brighter Jupiter is 14.8° to the lower left of the Ringed Wonder.  In the starfield, Jupiter is 4.4° to the left of Deneb Algiedi, 1.7° to the lower left of μ Cap, and 1.7° to the upper right of ι Aqr.  The bright moon (15.3d, 100%) is over 14° above the southwest horizon and 4.8° to the right of Zubenelgenubi (α Lib, m = 2.8). The moon is at perifee at 10:22 a.m. CDT (222, 103 miles). Brilliant Venus continues its slow climb into the evening sky.  Twenty minutes after sunset, it is less than 4° up in the west-northwest.  Mercury (m = −1.4) is 2.3° above Venus.  As the sky darkens further, Mars is less than 40° up in the west among the stars of Gemini.  It is 2.5° to the upper right of Propus, the and 3.6° to the lower right of Tejat Posterior.  Before the moon rises in less than an hour, find the star cluster M35, 0.8° to the lower left of Mars. Two hours after sunset, the moon (16.0d, 98%), 8.4° up in the east-southeast, is trapped in the pincers of the scorpion.  The lunar orb is 7.3° to the lower left of Zubenelgenubi and 7.9° to the lower right of Zubeneschamali (β Lib, m = 2.6).

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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2 replies

  1. I just discovered your site; excellent information, thank you for developing and posting the events and sights! Do you also publish this information on a shareable calendar? In other words, is this info (above) also posted as an event on the “morning” (say, 2-4 am) of April 27, 2021 on some Google calendar ?
    Thanks in advance
    Ed

    • Jeffrey L. Hunt – Jeffrey L. Hunt is an educational technologist living in suburban Chicago. When he's not learning about and implementing technology in classes, he's running or looking at the stars.

      Ed, Thanks for your kind comments. I publish the detailed notes as a summary document each month. April is at https://bit.ly/april_planets_2021 It is linked in the articles. The articles are focused on events around sunrise or sunset, such as 45 minutes after sunset or 1 hour before sunrise. Readers can then find their own local sunrise and sunset times to determine the interval described in the article and notes. The charts work anywhere in the world, but since the celestial objects are moving and are best situated for the western hemisphere and north of the equator. Specifically, the charts are calculated for Chicago, Illinois and the views are similar throughout North America. Thanks for reading.

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