October 2 – October 16, 2021: NASA is pausing operational commands with the spacecraft exploring Mars as the Red Planet nears its conjunction with the sun.
Mars is at its solar conjunction on October 7, 2021. It begins a slow return into the morning sky. By year’s end it appears low in the southeastern sky with the moon.
Newly released analysis from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows that the Arabia Terra region on Mars experienced powerful volcanic eruptions.
August 22, 2021: Brilliant Evening Star Venus continues to step through Virgo after sundown. It is to the lower left of Spica and near Porrima and Zaniah.
August 21, 2021: Bright Jupiter is near the Blue Moon this evening. The lunar term has several definitions.
August 20, 2021: Five bright planets are visible after sunset this evening. During the next few evenings, a month before the Harvest Moon, get a preview of the harvest moon effect.
August 19, 2021: The moon, Mars, Mercury, Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter span the sky this evening shortly after sunset.
August 18, 2021: Mercury passes Mars in a difficult-to-see conjunction during bright evening twilight. This is the closes conjunction of the two planets until 2032.
August 17, 2021: One evening before their close conjunction, Mercury moves toward Mars. The gap between them is 1.1° this evening.
August 16, 2021: Mercury and Mars are visible through a binocular during bright twilight. As night falls, Venus, Saturn and Jupiter are visible. The gibbous moon is near Antares.