November 26-28, 2021: The bright moon is in front of the stars of Leo on the mornings of November 26, 27, and 28. In the evening sky, brilliant Venus, bright Jupiter, and Saturn are in the southern sky after sundown.
by Jeffrey L. Hunt
I spend most every night
Beneath the light
Of a neon moon
Before sunrise for the next few mornings, the bright moon is high in the south in front of the stars of Leo. Each morning the moon’s phase is thinner and the lunar orb is farther eastward. At about an hour before sunrise, step outside and look up into the southern sky. The moon is there along with the constellation Leo. The pattern is a westward-facing Lion. Its stars resemble a backwards question mark and a triangle. Regulus is at the bottom of the question mark and Denebola – “the lion’s tail” – is at one corner of the triangle.
On November 26, the lunar orb, 60% illuminated, is near the backwards question mark, also known as the “Sickle of Leo,” and 8.8° to the upper right of Regulus.
The next morning, November 27, the moon, 50% illuminated is 6.8° to the left of Regulus. The moon reaches its Last Quarter phase at 6:28 a.m. CST, about 30 minutes before sunrise in Chicago.
On this final morning, November 28, of this month’s Leo moon, the thick crescent, 40% illuminated, is 8.3° to the lower right of Denebola.
If we can rewrite the lyrics, with respect to Ronnie Dunn:
I spend many nights
Beneath the light
Of a Leo Moon
Mars continues its slow climb into the morning sky. About 30 minutes before sunrise it is about 8° up in the east-southeast.
After sunset, the evening planet pack – Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter – are in the southern sky. One hour after sunset, brilliant Venus is over 14° up in the southwest. It is very bright as it nears its interval of greatest brightness. Look for the brilliant planet and the crescent moon on the evening of December 6.
That grouping of Venus and the lunar crescent is the most photogenic grouping of the two celestial wonders of this evening appearance of the planet. This is a “do not miss event” that is easily seen.
This evening Saturn is 20.2° to the upper left of Venus. Venus moves eastward faster than both Jupiter and Saturn. Nightly observations show that Venus appears to be closing in on Saturn, but the Evening Star’s apparition is about to stall as it rounds its orbit to pass between Earth and Sun. Venus and Saturn have a conjunction next year in the morning sky after their solar conjunctions. Bright Jupiter – slightly west of the south direction point – is slowly inching away from Saturn. The Jovian Giant, over one-third of the way up in the south, is 16.2° to the upper left of the Ring Wonder.
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