2021, August 19: Moon, Five Evening Planets

August 19, 2021: The moon, Mars, Mercury, Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter span the sky this evening shortly after sunset.

2021, August 19: Through a binocular, Mercury is 0.9° to the upper left of Mars.
Chart Caption – 2021, August 19: Through a binocular, Mercury is 0.9° to the upper left of Mars.

by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Chicago, Illinois:  Sunrise, 6:03 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 7:44 p.m. CDT.  Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.

The moon and the five brightest planets span the sky this evening shortly after sunset.  This evening Jupiter is at opposition.

One evening after Mercury’s very close conjunction with Mars, the two worlds are still in the same binocular field.  At 25 minutes after sunset, Mercury is very low in the western sky and 0.9° to the upper left of dimmer Mars.

At this hour the five brightest planets are visible, although the Mercury – Mars pairing is very challenging.  Venus is in the western sky, while Saturn and Jupiter are in the southeastern sky, to the left of the moon.

2021, August 19: Venus and Spica are in the western sky.
Chart Caption – 2021, August 19: Venus and Spica are in the western sky.

By 45 minutes after sunset, when it is darker, Venus is about 8° up in the west.  Notice Spica, 19.7° to the upper left of the brilliant planet.  Venus is stepping toward the star and it passes Spica on September 5.

2021, August 19: Saturn is to the left of the moon, while Jupiter is to the lower left of the Ringed Wonder.
Chart Caption – 2021, August 19: Saturn is to the left of the moon, while Jupiter is to the lower left of the Ringed Wonder.

Farther eastward, the bright moon, that is 92% illuminated, is 15° up in the southeast.  Saturn is 13.4° to the left of the lunar orb.  Jupiter is 18.3° to the lower left of the Ringed Wonder.

As the evening progresses, Venus sets in the western sky, while the moon, Saturn, and Jupiter are higher in the sky toward the south.

Detailed Daily Note:One hour before sunrise, bright Jupiter is nearly 12° above the west-southwest horizon.  It is 1.9° to the lower right of ι Aqr, 1.2° to the upper left of μ Cap, and 3.7° above Deneb Algedi. The Jovian Giant is at opposition with the sun at 7:28 p.m. CDT. Twenty-five minutes after sunset, Mercury is less than 4° up in the west.  One night after its close conjunction with Mars, the gap is 0.9° with Mercury to the upper left of the Red Planet.  The five bright planets are in the sky, if you can find them in this bright twilight.  They span the sky from Mars in the west to Jupiter in the east-southeast.  Forty-five minutes after sunset, brilliant Venus is about 8° up in the west, 1.0° below Zaniah and 19.7° to the lower right of Spica, 13.0° above the west-southwest horizon.  The moon (11.5d, 92%), about 15° up in the southeast, is 13.4° to the right of Saturn.  Jupiter, is 18.3° to the lower left of the Ringed Wonder.  As midnight approaches, the moon is 22° up in the south, west of the meridian, to the lower right of Saturn.  The Ringed Wonder, about one-third of the way up in the south, is 1.3° to the lower left of υ Cap.  Jupiter, over 32° above the south-southeast horizon, is to Saturn’s upper left.

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