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2021, November 6:  Autumn’s Midpoint

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves


November 6, 2021:  The midpoint of Autumn occurs today.

Photo Caption – Autumn Leaves (Photo by Alex Kozlov on


by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Today is the midpoint of Autumn at 12:35 p.m. CDT.  The season lasts 2156 hours, 28 minutes.  It ends December 21 at 9:59 a.m. CST.  Today the length of darkness exceeds daylight. 

At the latitude of Chicago, Illinois, daylight lasts ten hours, 10 minutes.

Nighttime can be divided into twilight and darkness.  Twilight is the illumination that occurs after sunset and before sunrise.  The sun is below the horizon, while its light shines through the atmosphere. Today, total twilight lasts three hours, ten minutes.  Darkness, the time between the end of evening twilight and the beginning of morning twilight, spans ten hours, forty minutes.

There’s more in the daylight/darkness transition in the article linked here.

Mercury is visible in the morning sky before sunrise.  The planet is bright, but somewhat difficult to spot in the brighter twilight at 30 minutes before sunrise.

Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter are beginning to make a pack in the southwestern sky after sunset. 

Chart Caption – 2021, November 6: The moon passes Alnasl in Sagittarius. The crescent moon is to the lower right of the Evening Star.

The Evening Star is over 11° above the southwestern horizon at 45 minutes after sunset.  The crescent moon is over 17° to the lower right of the Evening Star.

Note that Venus is 3.1° to the upper right of Alnasl, “the point of the arrow” of Sagittarius.  A binocular is helpful to see Venus and the star.  Watch the planet step past the stars in the “Teapot.”

Saturn is over 36° to the upper left of Venus and bright Jupiter is over 15° beyond the Ringed Wonder.


2021, December 29: Moon Nears Scorpion, Venus Departs

December 29, 2021: The morning crescent moon approaches Scorpius and Mars.  In the evening sky, four evening planets – Venus, Mercury, Saturn, and Jupiter – are lined up in the southwest.  Venus is rapidly leaving the evening sky.

2021, December 28:  Venus Slips, Mercury Hops

December 28, 2021:  Brilliant Venus is quickly slipping from the evening sky.  Mercury appears beneath Venus after sunset.  This duo is joined by Jupiter and Saturn.  In the morning, Mars is near Antares and the moon near Spica.

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