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2021, July 21: Venus – Jupiter Opposition

Venus from Galileo (NASA photo)

Venus as viewed from the Galileo spacecraft (NASA photo)

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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.

Chart Caption – 2021, July 21: Venus and Jupiter are in opposite directions in space.

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.

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