June 21, 2021: Jupiter begins retrograde, moving westward compared to the distant stars, today. The Jovian Giant, among the stars of Aquarius, is in the southern sky before sunrise.
June 26 – June 30, 2021: The bright gibbous moon passes Jupiter and Saturn in the morning sky before sunrise. Observe that the moon is in a different spot each morning, farther east toward the impending sunrise.
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.
June 16, 2021: A summer project is to build a sidewalk solar system model. The scale uses the sun’s size as the size of a basketball. Earth’s distance is 88 feet.
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.
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.
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, June: With a crescent moon in the eastern sky, bright Jupiter and Saturn are in the southern sky. Saturn is retrograding in Capricornus, while Jupiter begins to slow its eastward progress in Aquarius.
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.
May 30, 2021 – June 2, 2021: The gibbous moon passes bright Jupiter and Saturn before sunrise each morning. May 30, the moon is the lower right of Saturn. May 31, the moon is to the lower left of Saturn. On June 1 and June 2, the lunar orb is near Jupiter.