March 2020 Sky Report

The days are getting longer… Oh.. and if you live in the states and Canada, you’re going to get an hour of your life temporarily sucked away, and won’t get it back until November . Yes… Daylight Savings Time begins this month. While “normal” people will rejoice the extra hour of daylight in the evening, night sky observers like yours truly are dreading it…

First Quarter Moon: March 2
Full Moon (Worm Moon): March 9
Last Quarter Moon: March 16
New Moon: March 24

Featured Constellation
10-2 Capella
Notice the different colors in the “spikes?” That is from atmosphere turbulence bending the exposed light from this star!
Auriga

This constellation is easily identified by the bright white star Capella. This star is the most northerly of the bright winter stars that make up the “winter hexagon.” It’s the first bright winter star you see in the Autumn months, and among the last you see as the Spring stars take over. Capella often twinkles in different hues when the atmosphere is turbulent, and it can show up in short exposures!

In Latin, the name Auriga means “charioteer.” The constellation itself is shaped like a hexagon as well, representing the wheel of a chariot.

Any Notable Celestial Events?

Daylight Savings Time Begins March 8 (USA and Canada) 

Yep… it’s that time again. If your clock doesn’t automatically correct for it, be sure to set your clocks forward on the night of March 7.

Some of us call this period, “Dark Sky Robbing Time” because it pushes the sunsets later, and gives public telescope operators and sidewalk astronomers limited time in the evening hours to showcase any celestial object that requires the night sky for visibility.

Planetary Dance Party Beginning March 17

Early morning sky watchers are once again treated to Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, and even the Moon, changing their positions by the day and forming tight shapes or conjunctions. All you have to do is check out the southeastern skies before dawn.

March 18 – the four objects will form an oddly shaped rhombus

March 20-31 – Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn will form a triangle, with it being the most even looking on the 25th

March 20 – Mars will be the closest to Jupiter in the sky. You will be able to see the two planets close together through a telescope!

March 31 – Mars will conjunct with Saturn, and be visible at the same time through a telescope.

Overall Rating: These nights will be impressive sights worth checking out! 

Another post about this event will be published shortly before it happens, just in case you didn’t hear from us the first time! 

Can You Just Tell Me Where the Planets Are Visible?

Mercury: Will be low in the southeast before dawn. It’ll be best viewed around March 27.

Venus: A lot of people will ask us about that “bright star at night.” Venus will be furthest from the Sun from Earth’s point of view, be visible in the west after dark for few hours at most, and will remind sky watchers why it’s called “The Evening Star.”

Earth: Go ahead… try and prove to me it’s flat…

Mars: Will be an early morning target in the southeastern skies around 5 am. It will gradually shift from Sagittarius to Capricornus.

Jupiter: In the constellation Sagittarius, It will be an early morning target in the southeastern sky before sunset. You’ll want to get up at 5 am to see it. Sorry! You’re going to have to wait a few more months before you start seeing it in the evening skies…

Saturn: Same as Jupiter, it’ll be an early morning target in the southeastern sky in front of Sagittarius.

Uranus: It will be low in the southwest after sunset. On March 7-8, Uranus will be a little over 2° to the left of Venus, making it easy to find. Telescopes with a short focal length at low power, or a good pair of binoculars could get both objects within the same FOV.

Neptune: As it’s in front of Aquarius, for most of March it’ll be lost in the morning twilight.

Pluto: It’s not classified as a planet anymore 😉

Okay… Planet Nine: Observatories are trying… it hasn’t been found!

Umm… so… can you tell me anything about Nibiru: NO!

 

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