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2021, September 18: Venus and Scorpion

Scorpius in the southern sky

Look south during summer evenings to see the Celestial Scorpion.

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September 18, 2021:  Venus moves into the boundaries of the classic Scorpion.  Today the pattern is divided into Libra and Scorpius.  Each evening watch the position of Venus change compared to the sidereal background.

Chart Caption – 2021, September 18 – October: Venus moves through the classic Scorpion (Libra, Scorpius, and Ophiuchus).

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by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Chicago, Illinois:  Sunrise, 6:34 a.m. CDT; Sunset, 6:54 p.m. CDT.  Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.

This evening brilliant Venus begins its trek through the classic Scorpion.  The larger pattern has been broken into two constellations, Libra and Scorpius.

The names of the two brighter stars in Libra retained their original names, Zubenelgenubi – “the southern claw of the scorpion” – and Zubeneschamali – “the northern claw of the Scorpion.

Unlike slow-moving Jupiter and Saturn, Venus quickly steps eastward compared to the brighter stars of these constellations.  As the chart above indicates, its place in the stars is easily-tracked from night to night.

Venus passes Zubenelgenubi on September 23.  Followed by a conjunction with Antares, the brightest star in Scorpius, on October 15.

The moon makes a nice grouping with Venus and the stars in the Scorpion’s head on October 9.

For more about Venus with the Scorpion, see the detailed article.

Detailed Daily Note: Three bright planets are visible after sunset along with a nearly-full moon.  The Evening star moves into the classic Scorpion (Libra and Scorpius) this evening.  Forty-five minutes after sunset, Venus is over 8° up in the west-southwest, 6.2° to the lower right of Zubenelgenubi. Venus sets at the end of evening twilight and continues to set after this time interval until December 26.  Farther eastward, the bright moon (12.0d, 96%) is nearly 12° up in the southeast.  Jupiter, 19.0° above the southeast horizon, is 10.1° to the upper right of the lunar orb.  Saturn is 16.4° to the upper right of the Jovian Giant.  As midnight approaches, the lunar sphere is over one-third of the way up in the south, west of the meridian.  Jupiter is to the right of the moon.  Use a binocular to see the planets with the sidereal background.  Jupiter is 2.5° to the lower right of μ Cap, 1.4°, to the upper right of Deneb Algedi, and 2.1° to the upper left of Nashira.  Saturn, over 22° up in the south-southwest and to the lower right of Jupiter, is 1.2° below υ Cap.

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