2021, October 21 – November 1:  Venus Steps Through Ophiuchus

October 21-November 1, 2021:  Brilliant Venus steps through Ophiuchus to the upper left of the star Antares in the southwest after sunset . Afterward, the planet steps farther eastward.

2021, October 21 – November 1: Venus moves eastward through Ophiuchus. Nightly observations show its eastward direction compared to Theta Ophiuchi (θ Oph).
Chart Caption – 2021, October 21 – November 1: Venus moves eastward through Ophiuchus. Nightly observations show its eastward direction compared to Theta Ophiuchi (θ Oph).

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by Jeffrey L. Hunt

DAILY NOTES FOR OCTOBER 2021

VENUS AS AN EVENING STAR 2021

Venus is “that bright star shining” in the southwest after sunset.  From October 21 through November1, the brilliant planet steps through the southern section of Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer.

The brightest star in the region is Theta Ophiuchi (θ Oph on the chart).  To see it easily, a binocular is helpful.  It is a celestial marker to watch the eastward motion of Venus.

While Theta Ophiuchi looks dim, the star is over 500 light years away and shines with an intensity of over 2,000 suns.

On October 21, Venus is nearly mid-way between Antares and Theta Ophiuchi, 5.6° to the upper left of Antares.

Each evening Antares is becoming more difficult to spot as it is lower in the southwestern sky.

Venus passes 1.7° to the lower left of Theta Ophiuchi on October 27.

By the end of the sequence shown on the chart, Venus is 5.2° to the upper left of the star.

The planet moves into Sagittarius and two conjunctions with the moon during November and December.

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Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

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