November 8, 2021: Brilliant Evening Star and the crescent moon shine among the stars of Sagittarius after sunset. Bright Mercury is a challenging view before sunrise.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:32 a.m. CST; Sunset, 4:36 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Mercury is galloping into bright morning twilight. It is more difficult to see each morning. The speedy planet is bright, but during bright morning twilight a binocular is needed.
Look low in the east-southeast with a binocular. It is over 5° above the horizon.
The planet pack – Evening Star Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter – dominates the sky after sunset. Look for Venus about 13° up in the southwest. It is very bright and can be mistaken for the lights of an airplane.
The planet is among the stars of Sagittarius. It is 3.0° to the upper right of Kaus Media – “the middle part of the bow” of Sagittarius. The shape most looks like a teapot, rather than a centaur. The figure is sometimes called the Archer. On the chart note the northern part of the bow – Kaus Borealis – and the southern part of the bow, Kaus Australis. Alnasl is “the point of the arrow.”
The crescent moon, 22% illuminated, is 9.8° to the upper left of Venus and 1.0° to the lower left of Nunki, in the handle of the Teapot.
Venus is stepping about 1° to the east each evening. Jupiter and Saturn move slowly eastward. Venus is quickly closing the gap to Saturn, but Earth’s nearest planet does not reach the Ringed Wonder. A Venus-Saturn conjunction occurs next year after both planets pass their solar conjunctions early during 2022.
Bright Jupiter is 15.5° to the left of Saturn. The planets are in front of the stars Capricornus, moving slowly east compared to the stellar backdrop.
- 2023, October 21: Three Bright Planets, First Quarter MoonOctober 21, 2023: Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn are easy to locate during nighttime hours. The First Quarter moon phase occurs this evening.
- 2023, October 20: Jupiter’s Double Shadows, Mercury at Superior ConjunctionOctober 20: After midnight, Jupiter’s moons’ shadows dance across the cloud tops. Mercury is at superior conjunction.
- 2023, October 19: Poured Moon, See Planet UranusOctober 19: Sagittarius seems to pour the moon into the sky this evening. Find Uranus with a binocular.
- 2023, October 18: Moon-Antares Conjunction, Bright PlanetsOctober 18, 2023: The moon is near Antares after sunset. Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn are in the sky during the nighttime hours.
- 2023, October 17: Scorpion MoonOctober 17, 2023: The crescent moon is with Scorpius during evening twilight. Venus and Jupiter gleam from the predawn sky.