2021 Planetary Positions
Venus is presently moving through Aquarius.
Jupiter (magnitude –1.9, in Aquarius)
Saturn (magnitude +0.6 in Aquarius) is emerging low in the dawn 10° lower left of Jupiter (that's about a fist at arm's length). Binoculars will
Uranus (magnitude 5.8, in Taurus) is roughly 10° degrees below Mars in early evening. In binoculars Uranus is a little pinpoint "star." But with
an apparent diameter of 3.5 arcseconds, it's a tiny, fuzzy ball at high power in even a smallish telescope with sharp optics — during spells of
Neptune (magnitude 7.9, in eastern Pisces) sinks out of sight right after nightfall, far below Venus.
The dwarf planet Pluto lies in northern Capricorn and is highest above the southern horizon just before dawn. Search for it under a dark,
moonless sky. Pluto glows atmagnitude+14, and as a result, it is a challenge to spot. An 8-inch telescope on a perfect night brings Pluto to
the edge of visibility. For a direct view, however, you will want touse at least a 10- inch scope.
Mercury is having an excellent apparition low in the evening twilight. Look for it about 40 to 60 minutes after
sundown, far to the lower right of brilliant Venus (by about 25°). Mercury fades a lot this week, from magnitude
–1 to 0, but that's still quite bright. Mercury is retrograde in Aquarius.
Mars (magnitude +0.5, in Taurus) shines pale yellow-orange high in the southwest right after dark. It sets in the
west-northwest around 1 a.m. Mars is only 8 or 7 arcseconds wide now, but at least a telescope will show its gibbous