June 1 – June 7, 2021: Evening Star Venus shines in the western sky after sunset. Mars is over 20° to the upper left of Venus during this week. Venus cuts the gap to Mars during the month. Use a binocular to watch Venus pass a star cluster and Mars move eastward in the Pollux region.
By Jeffrey L. Hunt
Brilliant Evening Star Venus shines in the western sky after sunset as June opens. Mars is to the upper left of Venus.
Begin looking for Venus about 45 minutes after sunset. It is low in the west-northwest, about 6° above the horizon. At this hour, the planet is easily located in the multi-hues of evening twilight. A clear horizon, without obstructions, is needed to get the best views. A hilltop or elevated structure helps as necessary.
Venus is stepping eastward at the Taurus – Gemini border. It moves into Gemini on June 2.
Mars is much dimmer than it was at the beginning of the year. It is marching eastward through Gemini, in the Pollux area of the sky
On June 1, the planet is in line with Pollux and Kappa Geminorum (κ Gem on the chart). The Red Planet is naked eye. A binocular helps with the view.
Venus is moving eastward faster than Mars and overtakes it on July 12 in a conjunction.
Each evening, watch the gap close. On June 1, the gap between them is nearly 25°. By the evening of June 7, the gap is reduced to over 21°.
Here are some notable events for these seven evenings with the with Venus and Mars.
June 1: Mars is on a line with Pollux and Kappa Geminorum.
June 3: Use a binocular to spot Venus 0.3° to the lower right of the star cluster Messier 35 (M35). The cluster is in a challenging place in the sky to see, because of its low altitude and twilight. The planet is 2.6° to the right of Propus (η Gem) and 4.1° to the lower right Tejat Posterior (μ Gem). The stars’ names mean “the projecting foot” and “the heel,” respectively.
June 4: Venus is 0.9° to the upper left of the star cluster M35, 2.0° to the upper right of the star Eta Geminorum and 3.1° to the lower right of Mu Geminorum.
June 6: Venus passes 1.9° to the upper right of Mu Geminorum.
June 7: Forty-five minutes after sunset, Venus is about 7° above the west-northwest horizon. Mars is over 21° to the upper left of the brilliant planet. The Red Planet is 7.3° to the left of Pollux.
Articles and Summaries
- Venus as an Evening Star
- Venus Evening Star (Summary)
- Mercury during May 2021
- Mars during 2021 (Summary)
- Planets during June 2021
October 9, 2021: Look for brilliant Venus, crescent moon, and the head of Scorpius in the southwest after sunset. About every eight years, Venus and the moon appear near the head of the Scorpion after sunset. Look for them about 45 minutes after sunset.
October 1, 2021: Before sunrise, the lunar crescent is near the Beehive star cluster.
Newly released analysis from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows that the Arabia Terra region on Mars experienced powerful volcanic eruptions.
September 30, 2021: An hour before sunrise, the crescent moon is near the Gemini Twins.
September 29, 2021: The thick crescent moon is in the southeast before sunrise, approaching the middle of Gemini. The evening planet pack is visible after sunset.