Tag: Venus

2020, April 4: Venus and Pleiades

Venus and Pleiades, April 4, 2020
2020, April 4: 0.9° to the upper left of the brightest star in the cluster, Alcyone

One day after Venus passed the Pleiades, the brilliant planet is still nearby. The Venus is 0.9° to the upper left of the brightest star in the cluster, Alcyone. During the next few evenings Venus moves up and to the left of the star cluster.

Venus and Pleiades, April 4, 2020
2020, April 4: 0.9° to the upper left of the brightest star in the cluster, Alcyone.

 

For more about Venus as an Evening Star, visit this page.

2020, April 1: Venus and Pleiades

2020, April 1: Venus is 1.8° to the lower right of the Pleiades star cluster.

 

This evening, Venus is 1.8° to the lower right of the Pleiades star cluster.

Use a binocular to highlight the view of the cluster and the nearby checkmark-shaped Hyades, especially with a bright moon in the sky.  With the yellow-orange star Aldebaran, the Hyades cluster makes a V-shape, although the Aldebaran is not part of the cluster.

More about Venus and the Pleiades, click here.

2020, March 23: Venus and Pleiades

Venus and Pleiades, March 23, 2020
2020, March 23: Venus is 10.4° to the lower right of Alcyone, the brightest star in the Pleiades.

Brilliant Venus shines brightly in the west this evening.  It is 10.4° to the lower right of Alcyone, the brightest star in the Pleiades.  Each evening Venus moves closer to the cluster.  Venus passes the Pleiades on April 3.  On March 28, the moon joins the scene.

For more about Venus as an Evening Star, visit this page.

 

2020, July 19: See Moon and 5 Planets

See the moon and 5 planets, July 19, 2020
2020, July 19: The moon and five planets stretch across the sky before sunrise.

See the moon and 5 planets – Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn before sunrise on July 19, 2020.

Forty-five minutes before sunrise, the crescent moon and five planets are visible curved across the morning sky on July 19, 2020.  Find a spot with clear horizons in the east-northeast and the southwest.  A binocular may help finding the moon, Mercury, and Jupiter.

Here’s what to look for:

  • Brilliant Venus blazes in the eastern sky.  The star Aldebaran is nearby.
  • The crescent moon, 28.2 days past the New Moon phase and only 1% illuminated, is very low in the east-northeast.  This is where the binocular might help.
  • Mercury is to the right of the moon, about 5°. Make a fist and stretch your arm. Five degrees is about the distance from your thumb knuckle to your pointer finger knuckle. A binocular will help here as well. Can you see Mercury without the binocular once you find it?
  • Bright Mars, not as brilliant as Venus is the “star” that’s about halfway up in the sky in the south-southeast.
  • Jupiter – brighter than Mars, but low in the sky – is just above the horizon in the southwest.
  • Saturn, dimmer than Jupiter, is about 7° to the upper left of the Giant Planet. Both appear to our eyes as “stars.” Their separation is a little more than the knuckle to pointer distance described above. Don’t confuse Saturn with the star Fomalhaut, farther south, but at about the same altitude as Saturn.

Five planets and the crescent moon are in the sky at one time! During the next few mornings five planets are visible, but without the moon. Additionally, Jupiter is quickly leaving the sky. So on successive mornings, look 3-4 minutes earlier each day. You may catch them in the sky until about July 25.

Jupiter and Saturn are headed toward their Great Conjunction on December 21, 2020. Look for them low in the southeast during the early evening hours of July and August 2020.

 

2020, March 17: Brilliant Venus Begins Approach to Pleiades

Venus and Pleiades, March 17, 2020
2020, March 17: Venus is over 16° to the lower right of the Pleiades star cluster.

Venus begins its approach to the Pleiades and their April 3, conjunction. This evening, Venus is over 16° to the lower right of the star cluster. The Pleiades are in the constellation Taurus.  The pattern’s brightest star is Aldebaran, to the upper left of the star cluster.

Venus and the stars shine through a thin veil of clouds this evening.

For more about the Venus-Pleiades conjunction, click here.

For more about Venus during March, click here.

2020, March 17: Moon Joins Morning Planet Parade

Moon joins Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn, March 17, 2020
2020, March 17: The moon approaches Jupiter and Mars as Mars closes in for its March 20 conjunction with Jupiter.

 

This morning, the moon approaches Jupiter and Mars as Mars closes in for its March 20 conjunction with Jupiter.  Jupiter is over 12° to the lower left of the moon (22.8 days past the New Moon phase, 39% illuminated). Fast moving Mars is 1.7° to the right of Jupiter. The other planet gaps: Saturn – Mars, 8.9°; Jupiter – Saturn, 7.2°. 

Once every generation, these three planets appear close together in the sky.  Jupiter and Saturn are headed for their every 20-year reunion in December, in what is known as a great conjunction.

Read more about the morning planets here.

2020, March 15: Venus Sparkles in West

Venus in west after sunset, March 15, 2020
2020, March 15: Venus appears 8.5° to the upper left of Hamal.

Venus shines brightly in the western sky this evening after sunset.  It appears 8.5° to the upper left of Hamal.  Watch it continue to move past the stars of Aries and into Taurus.  The Pleiades are far above the planet.  Venus passes the star cluster next month.

For more about Venus during March, click here.