July 21, 2021: Venus passes Regulus this evening in the western sky after sunset.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Venus passes Regulus this evening. The planet and star appear close together in our sky, but they are very far apart. Light traveling from Venus reaches us nearly 11 minutes after it is reflected from the sun. Regulus’ starlight left nearly 80 years ago.
At 45 minutes after sunset, Venus is less than 10° up in the west. It is poking through the colorful layers of twilight. The planet is slowly climbing into the western sky after its first appearance in the evening sky about two months ago.
Find a clear spot to see the see Venus. A hilltop or elevated structure places you above terrestrial features that could block your view.
Use a binocular to find Regulus, Venus, and Mars. The star and the Red Planet are not bright enough to shine through the bright hues of twilight without an optical assist.
Regulus is about 1.1° to the lower left of Venus. Mars is nearly 5° to the lower right of Venus.
Tomorrow evening Venus is still relatively close, about 1.5° to the upper left of Regulus.
Mars closes in on the star and passes it n July 29. The star and Mars are lower in the sky and more challenging to see.
In addition, this evening is the Venus – Jupiter opposition. Venus is setting as Jupiter rises. In a week both planets are in the sky at the same time.
The next conjunction of Venus and Regulus occurs on the morning of October 10, 2023. Venus is 2.4° to the lower right of Regulus. Adding to the view, a thin crescent moon (16% illuminated) is 3.6° to the upper left of Regulus. The trio fits into the field of a binocular!
Articles and Summaries
- Venus as an Evening Star
- Venus Evening Star (Summary)
- Mars during 2021 (Summary)
- July Planet Summary 2021 (Summary)
October 26, 2021: Mercury is at its greatest morning appearance for the year. Look low in the east-southeast before sunrise.
October 25, 2021: This morning the bright gibbous moon seems to be caught between the horns of Taurus. Mercury is making its best morning appearance. The planet pack – Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn are in the evening sky.
October 24, 2021: Saturn is at its closest to Jupiter as the Jovian Giant picks up eastward speed. The morning moon and Mercury are visible before sunrise. Brilliant Evening Star Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter are in the sky after sunset.
October 23, 2021: This morning the bright moon is near the Pleiades star cluster. Mercury is making its best morning appearance. In the evening sky, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn are easy to spot.
October 22. 2021: Speedy Mercury is low in the east before sunrise. It is putting on its best morning performance of the year. Arcturus, in the east-northeast, is about the same altitude as Mercury.