April 27, 2021: The bright Pink Moon is in the southwest before sunrise, near the southern pincer of the Scorpion. Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeast moving eastward compared to the starry background.
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.
In a few days, the length of daylight is 14 hours. This morning it is seven minutes short.
Step outside during morning twilight to find the bright moon, on its Full moon phase night – perihelion full moon – low in the southwest. It is near the southern pincer of the Scorpion, Zubenelgenubi.
Farther east the bright giant planets are in the southeast. Saturn is over 20° above the horizon. In Capricornus, the Ringed Wonder continues its gentle eastward motion compared to the starry background. It is 1.1° to the upper right of Theta Capricorni (θ Cap on the chart).
The sidereal background for both Jupiter and Saturn is relatively dim. That with the moon’s brightness this morning requires a binocular to locate the fainter stars.
Both planets are brighter than any of the stars in the region, with Jupiter outshining all the stars this morning.
Bright Jupiter is nearly 15° to the lower left of the Ringed Wonder. It has moved into Aquarius. This Jovian Giant continues its eastward trek compared to the stars.
This morning Jupiter is 4.4° to the upper left of Deneb Algiedi, “the kid’s tail,” (δ Cap on the chart), 1.7° to the lower left of Mu Capricorni (μ Cap), and 1.7° to the upper right of Iota Aquarii (ι Aqr).
The moon is at its closest to Earth this morning at 10:22 p.m. CDT (222,103 miles).
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 perigee 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.
May 13, 2021: Venus, Mercury, the crescent moon, and Mars are in the western sky after sunset.
May 13, 2021: Bright Jupiter and Saturn are the morning planets in the southeast before sunrise.
May 12, 2021: Thirty minutes after sunset, the razor-thin moon is 1.2° to the left of brilliant Venus. This is the closest grouping of the moon and Venus during this evening appearance of the brilliant planet. Mercury is 9.1° to the upper left of Venus. Mars maintains its eastward march in Gemini. Sirius and Aldebaran are near their heliacal settings, their final appearances in the evening sky for the year.
May 12, 2021: Before sunrise bright Jupiter, in front of Aquarius, is in the southeast before sunrise. Saturn is to the upper right of Jupiter, in Capricornus. In a few mornings, Saturn begins to retrograde.
May 11, 2021: The planet parade continues today. Five planets are on display. Bright Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeastern sky before sunrise. After sundown, brilliant Venus, Mercury, and Mars are in the western sky. The moon is at its New phase and at apogee today.