Five bright planets are visible during the nighttime hours. Brilliant Morning Star Venus is “that bright star” in the southeastern sky before sunrise. Venus waltzes near the star Spica leading up to its widely-spaced conjunction with the star. Mercury puts on its best morning display of the year to the lower left of Venus. During the evening in the south-southwest, Jupiter slowly dances toward Saturn as a lead-up to the December 21, 2020 Great Conjunction. Mars slowly dances eastward in Pisces in the eastern sky.
Jeffrey L. Hunt
Jeffrey L. Hunt is an educational technologist living in suburban Chicago. When he's not learning about and implementing technology in classes, he's running or looking at the stars.
Brilliant Venus shines in the eastern sky near Spica before sunrise. Mercury appears lower in the sky as sunup approaches. This speedy planet is making its best morning appearance of the year. In the evening sky, Mars appears in the eastern sky after sunset. At the same time Jupiter dances toward Saturn before their Great Conjunction on December 21, 2020.
This morning’s sky extravaganza includes a thin crescent near Morning Star Venus and Spica. The trio make a pretty triangle. Mercury appears to the lower left of the celestial trio. In the evening sky, Mars ends its retrograde motion, as Jupiter closes in on Saturn before their Great Conjunction on December 21, 2020.
This morning’s spectacular sky includes a thin crescent near Morning Star Venus with Mercury and Spica nearby, as the moon dances past the morning planets. Venus continues to shine as “that bright star” in the east before sunrise. In the evening Mars marches is nearing the end of its retrograde motion in Pisces. Jupiter approaches Saturn in eastern Sagittarius as a prelude to the Great Conjunction on December 21, 2020.
The thin crescent moon shines in the east-southeast this morning above Venus before sunrise. The brilliant planet is slowly stepping eastward in Virgo. At about 45 minutes Mercury appears to the lower left of Venus. In the evening sky, bright Mars shines from the eastern sky as Jupiter dances toward Saturn in the south-southwest as a prelude to their Great Conjunction on December 21, 2020.
The crescent moon shines this morning from Leo. During morning twilight, Morning Star Venus and Mercury dance among the stars of Virgo in the east-southeast. Mercury reaches its greatest elongation from the sun. In the evening, Mars shines from the east-southeast. In the south-southwest, Jupiter dances toward Saturn before their Great Conjunction on December 21, 2020.
The moon is very close to a bright star in Leo for northern North America, while it is covered by the moon for regions farther south. Morning Star Venus shines brightly in the east before sunrise. Along with Mercury, Venus dances in front of the stars of Virgo. After this morning, Venus and Mars do not appear in the morning sky together for the remainder of 2020. In the evening Mars shines from Pisces, while Jupiter approaches Saturn as a prelude to the Great Conjunction.
Before sunrise the slightly gibbous moon is in Cancer, between Gemini and Leo, and near the Beehive star cluster. Morning Star Venus and Mercury continue their morning planet dance as they move through Virgo. In the evening, Mars is in the east, while Jupiter waltzes toward Saturn in the south-southwest.
Brilliant Morning Star Venus shines from the eastern sky during morning twilight. Mercury joins Venus as a morning planet. The speedy planet is to the lower left of the star Spica that is below Venus. The morning bright gibbous moon forms a long line with Procyon and Sirius. In the evening sky, bright Mars shines from the east while Jupiter and Saturn are in the south-southwest.
On December 21, 2020, Jupiter passes Saturn in a conjunction. Because they are infrequent, occurring every 19.6 years, they are called great conjunctions