2021, December 7-9:  Moon, Evening Planets

December 7-9, 2021:  The crescent appears with Jupiter and Saturn in the southern sky after sundown.  Meanwhile, Mars continues its slow climb into the morning sky.

2021, December 8: Mars is low in the southeastern sky before sunrise.
Chart Caption – 2021, December 8: Mars is low in the southeastern sky before sunrise.

PODCAST FOR THIS ARTICLE

by Jeffrey L. Hunt

Morning Sky

Mars continues its slow climb into the morning sky.  It is low in the southeast at about 45 minutes before sunrise.  Find it nearly 8° above the horizon.  It is not very bright at this time.  The Scorpion’s claws, Zubenelgenubi and Zubeneschamali, are over 10° above the Red Planet.  Mars is brighter than the claws, but at its low altitude it may seem to be about the same brightness as them.

Spica, the brightest star in Virgo, is over 30° to the upper right of Mars.

Evening Sky

2021, December 7-9: The moon passes the bright evening planets.
Chart Caption – 2021, December 7-9: The moon passes the bright evening planets.

After sunset, the crescent moon is near the planet pack – Venus, Saturn and Jupiter.  Step outside about an hour after sunset during the next few evenings.  The moon is near one of the planets.

Brilliant Venus is in the south-southwest.  Dimmer Saturn is about 15° to the upper left of Venus.  Bright Jupiter, over one-third of the way up in the south, is nearly 17° to the upper left of the Ringed Wonder.

Here’s what to look for on these evenings:

December 7:  The crescent moon – 18% illuminated – is 12.8° to the upper left of brilliant Venus, while Saturn is 5.6° above the lunar slice.

December 8: The moon – 28% illuminated – is 12.1° to the upper left of Saturn and 7.6° to the lower right of bright Jupiter.

December 9:  The waxing lunar crescent – 38% illuminated – is 9.2° to the left of Jupiter.

Look for earthshine, reflected light from Earth’s oceans, clouds, and land, on the night portion of the moon.

RECENT PODCASTS

RECENT ARTICLES

2021, July 2: Sunrise!

2022, June 21:  Evening Planet Parade Visibility, Summer Solstice

June 21, 2022: How frequently are the five bright planets visible in their order from the sun after sundown?  Five the morning planet parade in the eastern sky before sunrise.

Keep reading
2022, March 28: A close bunching of Venus, Saturn, Mars, and the crescent moon.

2022, June 20:  Morning Planet Parade Visibility

June 20, 2022: How frequently are the five bright planets visible in their order from the sun before daybreak?  These planets are in this order in the eastern sky before sunrise.

Keep reading
2020, March 30: One day before their conjunction, Mars is 1.2° to the lower right of Saturn. Jupiter is 5.6° to the upper right of Mars.

2022, June 19:  Planet Order Frequency, Moon Identifies Planets

June 19, 2022: How frequently are the five bright planets in order from the sun to create a morning or evening planet parade.  The five planets are in the sky before daybreak.

Keep reading


Categories: Astronomy, Sky Watching

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: