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