July 21, 2021: This evening Venus and Jupiter are in opposite directions from Earth, 180° apart along the plane of the solar system. Jupiter rises as Venus sets, signaling that they appear in the sky at the same time.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
The month’s third planet – planet opposition, Venus – Jupiter, occurs this evening. The chart above shows that Venus and Jupiter are in opposite directions from Earth. They are separated by 180° on the planet of the solar system, known as the ecliptic.
As Venus sets in the west-northwest, Jupiter rises in the east-southeast. By month’s end, both planets are visible in the sky at the same time, although far apart. Jupiter joins Saturn with Venus during the early evening hours.
Saturn is nearing its opposition with the sun on August 2, followed by Jupiter 17 days later.
Venus appears with Jupiter and Saturn in the evening sky until it zips back into bright twilight and into the morning sky during early 2022. Each evening, Jupiter and Saturn appear higher in the southeastern sky before sunrise. Later in the year, the giant planet duo starts the evening in the southern sky. As fall leans toward winter, they are in the southwest.
As the seasons progress this year, Venus appears farther south and higher in the sky after sunset. By year’s end it is in the southwest during evening twilight. Saturn is only 20° to the upper left of the brilliant planet.
Begin looking for Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter at the same time.
Articles and Summaries
- Venus as an Evening Star
- Venus Evening Star (Summary)
- Mars during 2021 (Summary)
- July Planet Summary 2021 (Summary)
November 6, 2021: The midpoint of Autumn occurs today.
November 3, 2021: Before sunrise speedy planet Mercury, the crescent moon, and the star Spica are grouped together. The trio does not appear this close together again until 2033.
October 31, 2021: There is no Halloween Full moon this year, and the phase is not close. The crescent moon is in the morning sky. Mercury is low in the east-southeast before sunrise. The planet pack – Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter – gleam in the evening sky.
October 29, 2021: Venus reaches its greatest elongation from the sun. It is in the evening sky with Jupiter and Saturn. The crescent moon and Mercury are in the eastern sky before sunrise.
October 29 – November 1, 2021: The crescent moon moves in front of the stars of Leo in the eastern sky before sunrise. Watch the moon appear lower and the phase shrink (wane) each morning. Also note that there is no Full moon on Halloween this year!