July 14, 2021: This evening, look for the crescent moon to the upper left of the Evening Star Venus. Regulus is to the upper left of Venus, while Mars is to the lower right.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 5:28 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 8:25 p.m. CDT. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Brilliant Venus is two evenings past its conjunction with Mars.
This evening, Venus is 1.0° to the upper left of Mars. Look for Venus low in the western sky after sunset.
The western sky has a dynamic dance of Venus, Mars, and the moon with the star Regulus.
The moon is quickly moving away from the planets as its phase grows. Venus is moving away from Mars and toward the star Regulus. The Evening Star passes Regulus on July 21. Mars passes the star eight evenings later.
At forty-five minutes after sunset, use a binocular to locate Mars and Regulus. Venus and Mars easily fit in to the same binocular field. The star is about 1.5 binocular fields to the upper left of Venus.
The crescent moon is 25% illuminated and to the upper left of Venus, over 30° away. It’s five days old, the number of days after the New moon phase.
As the sky darkens, the western sky seems to rotate closer to the western horizon. Mars and Regulus might be visible without a binocular’s assistance, depending on the clarity of the sky and your visual acuity.
Saturn and Jupiter are entering the evening sky. Later in the evening, as midnight approaches, they are in the southeastern sky.
Detailed Daily Note: One hour before sunrise, bright Jupiter – retrograding in Aquarius – is 35.0° up in the south-southwest. The planet is 2.4° to the upper left of ι Aqr, 4.4° below θ Aqr, and 4.4° to the lower right of σ Aqr. Jupiter is slightly to the upper left of a diagonal line from 38 Aqr to 42 Aqr. Watch it inch between the two distant stars during the next few mornings. Saturn, 19.7° to the lower right of Jupiter, is retrograding in Capricornus. It is 2.6° to the lower right of θ Cap. Forty-five minutes before sunrise, Mercury (m = −0.6) is 5.0° above the east-northeast horizon and over 24° to the lower left of Aldebaran. One hour after sunset, the crescent moon (5.0d, 25%) is over 22° above the west-southwest horizon, 5.8° to the upper right of Zavijava (β Vir, m = 3.6). Farther west, brilliant Venus – nearly 6° above the west-northwest horizon – is 1.0° above Mars and 8.5° to the lower right of Regulus. Saturn rises 58 minutes after sunset. Before Venus sets, 94 minutes after sunset, can you see both of them in the sky at the same time? Jupiter rises 112 minutes after sunset. As midnight approaches, Saturn is nearly 21° up in the southeast, while Jupiter is nearly 15° above the east-southeast horizon.
Articles and Summaries
- 2023, December 26: Cold Moon, Venus, Jupiter, SaturnDecember 26, 2023: The Cold Moon is visible during the nighttime hours. Venus shines before sunrise while Jupiter and Saturn are visible after sundown.
- 2023, December 25: Telescope First Light, Bright PlanetsDecember 25, 2023: For sky watchers with new telescopes, here’s what to look at before dawn or after sunset.
- 2023, December 24: Morning Moon, Pleiades, Antares Heliacal RisingDecember 24, 2023: The moon appears near the Pleiades star cluster during the earlier morning hours. Antares is at its first morning appearance, known as the heliacal rising.
- 2023, December 23: Check out Planet Uranus, Pleiades near MoonDecember 23, 2023: Look for the planet Uranus and the Pleiades star cluster through a binocular during nighttime hours.
- 2023, December 22: Mercury at Inferior Conjunction, Bright Jupiter, Gibbous MoonDecember 22, 2023: Mercury is between Earth and Sun, known as inferior conjunction. Jupiter and the gibbous moon are celestial companions during nighttime hours.