November 16, 2021: Brilliant Venus starts to move through the Teapot of Sagittarius this evening. Look for the brilliant Evening Star gleaming in the southwestern sky after sunset.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
Chicago, Illinois: Sunrise, 6:42 a.m. CST; Sunset, 4:29 p.m. CST. Check local sources for sunrise and sunset times for your location.
Brilliant Venus shines from the southwestern sky after sunset. Look for it over 14° up in the sky at 45 minutes after the sun leaves the western sky. It is the brightest “star” in the sky and it can be easily mistaken for the lights on an airplane.
The planet continues its trek through the constellation Sagittarius, moving into the handle this evening.
The constellation, named for the mythical centaur, resembles a teapot.
This evening, the planet is very close to Phi Sagittarii (φ Sgr on the chart). The gap is 0.2°, less than the diameter of the waning gibbous moon that is in the eastern sky at this hour.
Use a binocular to spot the four stars in the teapot’s handle. Look each clear evening to note the planet’s eastward trek. Venus passes the star Nunki in three evenings.
Saturn is about 28° to the upper left of brilliant Venus. Bright Jupiter is about 15° to the upper left of the Ringed Wonder.
In three mornings (November 19), the moon slips into Earth’s shadow for a near-total lunar eclipse. Set your clocks for an early wakeup to see it!
- 2023, October 12: Bright Morning Planets Bookend Stellar SpectacularOctober 12, 2023: Before sunrise, brilliant Venus and Jupiter bracket the Milky Way’s bright Orion region.
- 2023, October 11: Morning Earthshine, LeoOctober 11, 2023: The morning’s thin lunar crescent displays earthshine as it appears near the constellation Leo.
- 2023, October 10: Morning Venus-Moon-Regulus Gathering, Venus-Saturn OppositionOctober 10, 2023: This morning Venus, the crescent moon, and Regulus gather in the eastern sky for a beautiful celestial display. Venus and Saturn are at opposition today.
- 2023, October 9: Venus-Regulus Conjunction, Morning Crescent MoonOctober 9, 2023: The Venus-Regulus conjunction occurs this morning. The morning crescent moon is above Venus during twilight.
- 2023, October 8: Celestial Barnyard, Convergence at RegulusOctober 8, 2023: The moon is visible with a celestial barnyard during morning twilight. Venus and the lunar crescent head for a celestial gathering in two mornings.