May 29, 2021: This morning’s bright moon is near the handle of the Teapot of Sagittarius. Bright Jupiter and Saturn are to the east of the gibbous moon.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 5:20 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 8:17 p.m. CDT. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
This morning the gibbous moon is in the south as it nears the bright morning planets. The lunar orb is 88% illuminated. It is to the upper left of the Teapot of Sagittarius. Use a binocular to see the pattern in this bright moonlight.
The gibbous shape is 3.6° to the upper left of the star Tau Sagittarii (τ Sgr on the chart).
The moon is 25° to the right of Saturn.
The bright morning planets, Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeastern sky before sunrise. Saturn rises nearly 5 hours before sunup and Jupiter follows less than an hour later. During Early June, Saturn appears above the horizon before midnight.
Saturn is brighter than most of the stars in this morning’s sky, except for Jupiter, Arcturus, and Vega. The Ringed Wonder is retrograding in Capricornus.
Retrograde motion is an illusion as our planet catches up to and passes between the sun and the outer planet. Jupiter begins to retrograde next month.
Jupiter is 17.9° to the left of Saturn. The Jovian Giant is moving eastward in Aquarius.
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 gibbous moon (17.6d, 88%) is over 20° up in the south. It is above the handle of the Teapot of Sagittarius, 3.6° to the upper left of Tau Sagittarii (τ Sgr, m = 3.3). Farther eastward, Saturn is nearly one-third of the way up in the south-southeast. Saturn is retrograding in Capricornus, 0.6° to the lower right of θ Cap. It is moving westward compared to that stellar signpost. For the past few mornings, the gap between them is the same when rounded to a tenth of a degree. Jupiter, at nearly the same altitude as Saturn, is 17.9° to the left of Saturn. In the starfield, the Jovian Giant is 2.6° to the upper left of ι Aqr, 4.1° to the lower right of θ Aqr, and 4.3° to the upper right of σ Aqr. Three planets are visible after sunset, although dimming Mercury is rapidly leaving the evening sky. Thirty minutes after sunset, brilliant Venus is over 8° above the west-northwest horizon. Mercury (m = 2.5) is 1.2° below Venus. At this time interval, use a binocular to see Mercury with Venus. Forty-five minutes after sunset, Venus is about 6° above the horizon. Mercury is lower in the sky and a challenge to locate. Venus is 5.4° to the lower left of Elnath. Mars is higher in the sky, over 25° above the west horizon, in Gemini. Fifteen minutes later, Venus is over 3° up in the sky. In the starfield, Mars is 3.8° to the upper left of δ Gem, 2.3° below κ Gem, and 5.4° to the lower left of Pollux.
morning sky before sunrise. Observe that the moon is in a different spot each morning, farther east toward the impending sunrise.
June 15, 2021: The moon is with the Sickle of Leo this evening. Step outside about an hour after sunset to find the crescent moon that is about 30% illuminated over one-third of the way up in the west.
July 12, 2021: Venus – Mars conjunction evening. Evening Star Venus passes 0.5° to the upper right of the Red Planet. The crescent moon is nearby. This is the first of three conjunctions of Venus and Mars – a triple conjunction.
July 1, 2021: Saturn and Mars are in opposite directions in the sky. Mars sets as Saturn rises. In about a week, the two planets are visible in the sky at the same time. This event signals that the planet parade is starting to reorganize. During July, three other planet – planet oppositions occur, leading up to a challenging view of the five bright planets during mid-August.
June 13, 2021: After sunset, look for the thin crescent moon near Mars. The lunar sliver is also to the upper left of the star Pollux.