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
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.