May 27, 2021: The bright moon is in the west this morning, near the star Antares. Bright Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeast before sunrise.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 5:21 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 8:16 p.m. CDT. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
If you sleep in a south-facing room, bright moonlight likely streamed through the curtains last night and softly illuminated your room. Outside the moonlight easily cast shadows of terrestrial features.
The bright, moonlit landscape we experience when the moon is near its full phases is like what we see on the moon when it displays its crescent phases. The earthshine reflects from Earth’s oceans, land, and clouds to lightly illuminate the lunarscapes.
This morning one hour before sunrise, the moon is low in the southwest, 9.3° to the upper left of Antares.
Farther eastward, Jupiter and Saturn are low in the southeast. Jupiter is trekking eastward in Aquarius, while Saturn is retrograding in Capricornus.
The star below Jupiter and near the horizon is Fomalhaut.
Articles and Summaries.
- Venus as an Evening Star
- Venus Evening Star (Summary)
- Mercury during May 2021
- Mars during 2021 (Summary)
- Mars during May 2021
- Planets during May 2021
Detailed Note: One hour before sunrise, the bright moon (15.6d, 99%) is over 14° above the southwest horizon, 9.3° to the upper left of Antares. Farther eastward, Saturn is less than one-third of the way up in the south-southeast. Saturn is slowly retrograding in Capricornus, 0.6° to the right of θ Cap. Saturn reversed its direction less than a week ago. Jupiter, moving eastward in Aquarius, is 17.7° to the lower left of Saturn. The Jovian Giant is the brightest “star’ in the region. With the moon’s brightness, use a binocular to see this giant planet pair against the distant stars. This morning, Jupiter is 2.5° to the lower left of ι Aqr, 4.2° to the lower right of θ Aqr, and 4.4° to the upper right of σ Aqr. Sirius sets at sunset (With the star’s setting time changing 4 minutes each evening and the sun’s setting time changes a minute each day, this is the date with the shortest interval between sunset and star set, 2 minutes). During the early evening, Venus, Mercury, and Mars line up along a diagonal line. Begin looking with a binocular about 30 minutes after sunset. Brilliant Venus is nearly 8° up in the west-northwest. Mercury (m = 2.0) is 1.2° to the upper left of Venus. Fifteen minutes later, Venus is over 5° up, while Mercury is over 6° above the west-northwest horizon. Note that Venus is 4.6° to the lower left of Elnath. At this hour Mars is less than one-third of the way up in the west in front of the stars of Gemini. By one hour after sunset, Venus is 3.0° up in the sky, while Mercury is about 4° in altitude. In the darker sky, note that Mars is between δ Gem and κ Gem. The Red Planet is 2.7° to the upper left of δ Gem, 3.3° to the lower right of κ Gem, and 5.8° to the lower left of Pollux. Three hours after sunset, the moon (16.4d, 95%) is nearly 8° above the southeast horizon.
November 6, 2021: The midpoint of Autumn occurs today.
November 3, 2021: Before sunrise speedy planet Mercury, the crescent moon, and the star Spica are grouped together. The trio does not appear this close together again until 2033.
October 31, 2021: There is no Halloween Full moon this year, and the phase is not close. The crescent moon is in the morning sky. Mercury is low in the east-southeast before sunrise. The planet pack – Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter – gleam in the evening sky.
October 29, 2021: Venus reaches its greatest elongation from the sun. It is in the evening sky with Jupiter and Saturn. The crescent moon and Mercury are in the eastern sky before sunrise.
October 29 – November 1, 2021: The crescent moon moves in front of the stars of Leo in the eastern sky before sunrise. Watch the moon appear lower and the phase shrink (wane) each morning. Also note that there is no Full moon on Halloween this year!