Jupiter

2021, July 1, Saturn – Mars Opposition

July 1, 2021:  Saturn and Mars are in opposite directions in the sky.  Mars sets as Saturn rises. In about a week, the two planets are visible in the sky at the same time.  This event signals that the planet parade is starting to reorganize. During July, three other planet – planet oppositions occur, leading up to a challenging view of the five bright planets during mid-August.

2021, June 17: Morning Planets

June 17, 2021:  At mid-month, bright Jupiter and Saturn are in the southern sky before sunrise.  Saturn is retrograding in Capricornus.  Jupiter’s eastward direction is slowing as it turns westward to retrograde beginning June 21.

2021, Mid-June: Morning Winged Horse

Mid-June, 2021:  As morning twilight begins – quite early this time of year – the great winged horse is in the south-southeast.  The Great Square of Pegasus is made of moderately bright stars.  The horse’s neck and head extend toward the south.  A star cluster is off the tip of the horse’s nose.

2021, August 18: Challenging View, Five Planets, Moon

August 18, 2021: During bright twilight, five planets and the moon are in the sky simultaneously after sunset.  This is a challenging observation made with the assistance of a binocular or spotting scope.  Mercury and Mars are at their closest in the west, with brilliant Venus to the upper left.  The moon, Saturn, and Jupiter are in the southeastern sky. The Mercury – Mars conjunction is the closest until 2032.

2021, May 31: Goodbye, Mercury!

May 31, 2021: The planet parade is cut to four bright participants as Mercury departs the evening sky after tonight’s final appearance.  “Goodbye, Mercury!” until it appears in the morning sky during early summer.  This morning the moon is near Saturn and Jupiter in the southeastern sky. Brilliant Evening Star Venus, dim Mercury, and Mars are in the evening sky.

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