May 28, 2021: This morning, one hour before sunrise, the bright gibbous moon is near the Teapot of Sagittarius. Farther eastward, Jupiter is moving eastward in front of the stars of Aquarius. Saturn is retrograding in Capricornus.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 5:20 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 8:16 p.m. CDT. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
One hour before sunup, the bright moon, 95% illuminated, is low in the south-southwest, above the spout of the Teapot of Sagittarius. The stars are dim and a binocular may be necessary to see the starry background.
The lunar orb is 2.7° to the lower right of Kaus Borealis– “the northern part of the bow” – (λ Sgr on the chart) and 3.5° to the upper right of Kaus Media (δ Sgr), “the middle part of the bow.”
As the star names indicate, the centaur was portrayed as an archer.
Farther eastward, the bright morning planets are in the southeastern sky. Jupiter is moving eastward in Aquarius.
Saturn, brighter than all the stars this morning except for Jupiter, Arcturus, and Vega, is 17.8° to the upper right of the Jovian Giant. The Ringed Wonder it retrograding in Aquarius.
This evening, Mercury passes 0.4° from Venus. Look in the west-northwest after sunset.
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 (16.6d, 95%) is over 18° above the south-southwest horizon. It is above the spout of the Teapot of Sagittarius, 2.7° to the lower right of Kaus Borealis (λ Sgr, m = 2.8) and 3.5° to the upper right of Kaus Media (δ Sgr, m = 2.7). Use a binocular to see the stars. Farther eastward, bright Jupiter is over 27° above the southeast horizon. It is moving eastward in Aquarius. With the bright moonlight, use a binocular to spot the starfield. Jupiter is 2.6° to the upper left of ι Aqr, 4.2° to the lower right of θ Aqr, and 4.3° to the upper right of σ Aqr. Saturn, retrograding in Capricornus, is 17.8° to the upper right of Jupiter and 0.6° to the right of θ Cap. This evening a very close conjunction occurs with Venus and Mercury. The separation is 24’. The next conjunction closer than this one occurs November 5, 2033, when the planets are 23’ apart. About 30 Venus – Mercury conjunctions occur in the interim, but this is the closest visible to the unaided eye. A very close conjunction (13’) occurs on March 27, 2029, but the planets are near their superior conjunctions (Venus, March 23; Mercury, March 26). Venus is 1.6° south of the sun. This evening, begin looking for the conjunction with a binocular, about 30 minutes after sunset. Brilliant Venus is over 8° above the west-northwest horizon. Mercury (m = 2.3) is to the lower left of Venus. Fifteen minutes later, the pair is about 5° above the horizon. Spot Elnath, 4.9° to the upper right of Venus. At this hour, Mars is over 25° up in the west. One hour after sunset, the conjunction is over 3° above the west-northwest horizon. Higher in the western sky, Mars is marching eastward in Gemini. It is 3.8° to the upper left of δ Gem, 2.8° to the lower right of κ Gem, and 5.6° to the lower left of Pollux. As midnight approaches, the moon (17.4d, 89%) is above the southeast horizon.
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