July 24-27, 2021: The bright moon passes Saturn and Jupiter in the southwestern sky before sunrise.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
On the mornings of July 24 – July 27, the bright moon passes the planets Saturn and Jupiter. The planets are in the southwestern sky. Jupiter is the brightest star during early morning twilight. Saturn is to the Jovian Giant’s lower right. The star Fomalhaut is to Jupiter’s lower left.
One hour before sunrise each morning, here’s what to look for:
- July 24: The bright moon (14.4 days after the New moon phase, 100% illuminated) is 10.0° up in the southwest. Saturn is 7.2° above the lunar orb.
The moon is appearing in the evening sky with the planets as well. This evening, as the calendar day ends, the moon is nearly 20° up in the east. Saturn is to the moon’s upper right and Jupiter is to the left.
- July 25: The moon (15.4d, 98%) is nearly 20° up in the southwest, 9.5° to the upper left of Saturn. Jupiter is 12.0° to the upper left of the lunar orb.
- July 26: The moon (16.4d, 93%) is nearly one-third of the way up in the south-southwest. The lunar orb is 5.3° to the lower left of Jupiter.
- July 27: The moon (17.4d, 87%) is over 36° above the south-southwest horizon, nearly 17° to the upper left of Jupiter.
During the next few mornings, watch the moon pass the planets.
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September 30, 2021: An hour before sunrise, the crescent moon is near the Gemini Twins.
September 29, 2021: The thick crescent moon is in the southeast before sunrise, approaching the middle of Gemini. The evening planet pack is visible after sunset.