September 5, 2021: Venus passes Spica this evening in a widely-spaced conjunction.
THE PODCAST OF THIS ARTICLE
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Venus passes Spica this evening in a widely-spaced conjunction. Look to the west-southwest at 45 minutes after sunset. Brilliant Venus is only about 8° up. Tall trees or the neighbor’s house could block the view.
Initially, Spica might not be visible in the colorful layers of evening twilight. It is 1.5° to the lower left of the brilliant planet. A binocular is helpful, but not necessary to see the star.
After this evening’s conjunction, Venus scoots farther away from the star. The planet moves eastward, to the left of Spica.
The next Venus – Spica observable conjunction occurs on November 28, 2023.
At this hour this evening, bright Jupiter and Saturn are in the southeastern sky. Find them higher in the south-southeast as the evening unfolds.
Detailed Daily Note: One hour before sunrise, the thin crescent moon (27.8d, 3%) is about 8° up in the east-northeast, 5.8° to the lower right of Epsilon Leonis (ε Leo, m = 3.0). Twenty-five minutes after sunset, use a binocular to look for Mercury, over 4° above the west-southwest horizon. Twenty minutes later, Venus, about 8° up in the west-southwest, is 1.5° to the upper right of Spica. This is a wide conjunction of the two celestial wonders. The next observable conjunction of Venus and Spica occurs on November 28, 2023, in the morning sky. The conjunction is wide, 4.4°. There is a conjunction that occurs very close to the sun at the end of Venus’ appearance in the morning sky during 2022. Through a telescope, Venus is an evening gibbous, 71% illuminated and 15.6” across. Farther eastward, Saturn is about 20° up in the southeast. Bright Jupiter is 17.3° of ecliptic longitude east (to the lower left) of Saturn. The Jovian Giant is nearly 15° above the horizon. Jupiter is 120.7° east of Venus. The gap shrank 5.2° since the begining of the month. Two hours after sunset, Saturn is nearly 27° up in the south-southeast. The Ringed Wonder is 1.0° below υ Cap. At this hour Jupiter is nearly 25° up in the southeast, 4.0° to the upper right of ι Aqr, 1.1° to the lower right of μ Cap, and 1.8° to the upper left of Deneb Algedi.
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