2021, June 23-30: Evening Star Venus, Mars

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June 23 – 30, 2021:  Venus is quickly catching Mars in the western sky after sun.  Venus passes the Red Planet next month.

Chart Caption – 2021, June 25: Venus, in Cancer, is a above an imaginary line from Castor that extends through Pollux. The Venus – Mars gap is 10.3°.

by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Brilliant Venus shines from the west-northwest after sunset.  Dimmer Mars is to the Twin Planet’s upper left.  The Red Planet is visible to the unaided eye, but a binocular helps see it in the colorful hues of evening twilight.

Venus moves faster eastward along the ecliptic, the solar system’s plane, than Mars.  The brilliant planet passes Mars on July 12.

On June 23, the gap from Venus to Mars is 11.4°.  On this evening, Mars is in front of the Beehive star cluster.  With a binocular view Mars is seemingly snuggled in the cluster.  Watch Mars move away during the next few evenings.

Venus is near Pollux, one of the Gemini Twins.  On June 24, Venus is below an imaginary line that starts at Castor and extends through Pollux.  The next evening, Venus is above that line.

On June 25, Venus moves into Cancer, the sky’s dim region between Pollux and Regulus, a span of nearly 40°.

On June 27, the Venus – Mars gap is 9.1°.

Chart Caption – 2021, June 30: The Venus – Mars gap is 7.4°.

As the month ends, the gap between the planets is 7.4°.  Venus is approaching the Beehive star cluster.  The stellar bunch is low in the sky during twilight, a situation that is very unfavorable to see. 

Chart Caption – 2021, June 30: Through a binocular, Venus approaches the Beehive star cluster.

Through a binocular Venus is 2.7° to the lower right of the cluster of stars.

Articles and Summaries

2021, June 15: Moon, Sickle of Leo

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.

2021, July 12: Venus – Mars Conjunction

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.

2021, July 1, Saturn – Mars Opposition

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.

2021, June 13: Moon Passes Mars

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.



Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

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