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.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Two evenings after the crescent moon appeared with Venus, the lunar slice appears 2.9° above Mars and over 10° to the upper left of Pollux.
Step outside about 45 minutes after sunset and look to the west-northwest for the crescent. Follow the pair until they set over 2.5 hours after sunset and 15 minutes after the end of evening twilight.
The planet and the moon appear in the same binocular field. Notice the gentle illumination on the moon’s night portion. This is earthshine, from sunlight reflected from Earth’s oceans, land, and clouds. This evening from the moon, Earth is a bright gibbous phase. The same occurs when a bright moon illuminates the terrestrial landscape.
If the observations are made early in the evening, brilliant Venus is about 20° to the lower right of the lunar crescent. The planet is easily observed through the delicate, colorful hues of early evening.
Photograph the moon and capture earthshine with a tripod-mounted camera. Exposures can range up to a few seconds. On the photo above the moon was photographed with a 140mm lens at f/5.6. The exposure was 4 seconds with an ISO set at 100. The waning crescent moon was 14% illuminated, similar to the phase this evening.
Articles and Summaries
- Venus as an Evening Star
- Venus Evening Star (Summary)
- Mars during 2021 (Summary)
- Planets during June 2021
October 7, 2021: The lunar crescent returns to the evening sky for a short visit in the western sky after sunset. The bright planet pack – Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn – are visible during the early evening.
Mars is at its solar conjunction on October 7, 2021. It begins a slow return into the morning sky. By year’s end it appears low in the southeastern sky with the moon.
October 6, 2021: The moon is at its New moon phase today. This evening look for the three bright planets after sunset.
October 5, 2021: Before sunrise, a very thin moon is visible in the eastern sky. The evening planet pack – Evening Star Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn – are visible at the same time after sundown.
October 29, 2021: Today is the date for equal daylight and equal darkness for about 42° north latitude. This is not to be confused with the autumnal equinox.