2021, June: With a crescent moon in the eastern sky, bright Jupiter and Saturn are in the southern sky. Saturn is retrograding in Capricornus, while Jupiter begins to slow its eastward progress in Aquarius.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Step outside during morning twilight during early June. A crescent moon shines from the eastern sky. Bright Jupiter and Saturn are in the south.
Jupiter resembles a bright star. Its reflected sunlight makes it the brightest star in the sky this morning. The Jovian Giant is in front of the stars of Aquarius.
The planets move eastward compared to their starry background. During the first week of June, Jupiter moves about 0.3° to the east compared to the stars Iota Aquarii (ι Aqr on the chart), Theta Aquarii (θ Aqr) – “the knee” – and Sigma Aquarii (σ Aqr).
Jupiter is approaching the point where it stops moving eastward and begins to retrograde, an illusion of our faster moving Earth passing between the planet and the sun. From June 8 – June 21, Jupiter only advances another 0.3° eastward, when retrogrades begins.
Use a binocular to locate the planet among the dim stars of the constellation.
Saturn is over 18° to the west (right) of Jupiter. It is brighter than all the stars except for Jupiter, Arcturus, and Vega.
Saturn began retrograding last month and it is noticeably moving westward compared to the star Theta Capricorni (θ Cap). The planet stopped moving eastward and began its apparent westward trek on May 22. The Ringed Wonder stops retrograding on October 10.
Use a binocular to note the planet’s changing place compare to Theta.
Articles and Summaries
- Venus as an Evening Star
- Venus Evening Star (Summary)
- Mercury during May 2021
- Mars during 2021 (Summary)
- Planets during June 2021
December 30, 2021: The morning crescent moon seems to be captured in the Scorpion’s pincers to the upper right of Mars. Four Evening Planets – Venus, Mercury, Saturn, and Jupiter – are in the southwest after sundown.
December 28, 2021: The Great Andromeda Galaxy is nearly overhead at the end of the evening twilight.
December 29, 2021: The morning crescent moon approaches Scorpius and Mars. In the evening sky, four evening planets – Venus, Mercury, Saturn, and Jupiter – are lined up in the southwest. Venus is rapidly leaving the evening sky.
November 28, 2021: During twilight this evening, the three bright evening planets – Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter – are on parade in the southwestern sky.
December 28, 2021: Brilliant Venus is quickly slipping from the evening sky. Mercury appears beneath Venus after sunset. This duo is joined by Jupiter and Saturn. In the morning, Mars is near Antares and the moon near Spica.