Monday, March 9, 2015

Sky Events March 2015


Moon Phases

Thursday, March 5, 1:05 p.m. EST

Full Moon

The Full Moon of March is known as the “Worm Moon,” “Crow Moon,” “Sap Moon,” or “Lenten Moon.” It rises around sunset and sets around sunrise; this is the only night in the month when the Moon is in the sky all night long. The rest of the month, the Moon spends at least some time in the daytime sky. This is the smallest Full Moon of 2015.

Friday, March 13, 1:48 p.m. EDT

Last Quarter Moon

The Last Quarter Moon rises around 2 a.m. and sets around noon. It is most easily seen just after sunrise in the southern sky.

Friday, March 20, 5:36 a.m. EDT

New Moon

The Moon is not visible on the date of New Moon because it is too close to the Sun, but can be seen low in the East as a narrow crescent a morning or two before, just before sunrise. It is visible low in the West an evening or two after New Moon.

Friday, March 27, 3:43 a.m. EDT

First Quarter Moon

The First Quarter Moon rises around 11:30 a.m. and sets around 2:30 a.m. It dominates the evening sky.









Observing Highlights

Sunday, March 8–Sunday, March 22, after evening twilight

Zodiacal Light

Look to the south of west, just above Venus and Mars, for the faint zodiacal light, reflected from interplanetary matter along the ecliptic (marked by green line). Don’t confuse it with the brighter Milky Way to the northwest.

Friday, March 20

Total Solar Eclipse

The path of this eclipse sweeps across the North Atlantic Ocean, missing all inhabited land except for the Faroe Islands, northwest of Scotland, and the Svalberg Islands north of Norway. These images show the appearance of the eclipse from T├│rshavn in the Faroes
and Longyearbyen on Spitsbergen Island in Svalberg.

Friday, March 20, 6:45 p.m. EDT

Equinox

The Sun crosses the celestial equator heading north, marking the beginning of Spring in the northern hemisphere and Autumn in the southern hemisphere.

Saturday, March 21, 7 a.m. EDT

Uranus and the Moon

The Moon will occult Uranus as seen from easternmost Brazil, central Africa, the Middle East, and western Asia.

Saturday, March 21, 6 p.m. EDT

Mars and the Moon

The Moon will occult Mars as seen from southwestern South America, seen here from Punta Arenas, Chile.

Sunday, March 22, after sunset

Venus and the Moon

The Moon and Venus will make a pretty pair in the western twilight sky.

Tuesday, March 24, 10 p.m. EDT

Aldebaran and the Moon

The First Quarter Moon passes close to the red giant star Aldebaran and the Hyades star cluster. The bright Pleiades star cluster is off to the right. The Moon will pass in front of Aldebaran for observers in northern latitudes: Kazakhstan, Russia, northeastern Scandinavia, extreme northeastern China, northern Greenland, northwestern Canada, and Alaska.

Planets

Mercury is a “morning star,” most favourably placed for observers in the Southern Hemisphere.

Venus is an “evening star” in the southwestern sky just after sunset.

Mars spends most of the month in Pisces, but makes a brief excursion into Cetus on February 1st and 2nd.


Jupiter just past opposition will be shining brightly most of the night. It is in Cancer all month.


Saturn is just north of Scorpius’ “claws,” rising near midnight. It begins retrograde motion on the 14th.


Uranus vanishes into evening twilight at mid-month.

Neptune is still too close to the Sun to be observed.


Geoff Gaherty
Starry Night Software Support
All graphics © 2015 Starry Night Software