What’s Above Us – March 2021 Sky Report

March is your transition month between the Winter Sky, and the Spring Sky. One side has the most bright stars out of any section, and the “Winter Milky Way” traversing across from Cassiopeia to Canis Major, while the other side has fewer bright stars, and instead you begin looking off into intergalactic space!

Moon Phases January 2021

Last Quarter Moon March 5
New MoonMarch 13
First Quarter MoonMarch 21
Full Moon (Worm Moon)March 28
Your Deep Sky Viewing Window with little to no moon interference will be March 8-15

In The Evening

As the evening begins, the winter constellations begin high above but once true night begins, you start seeing them in the western half of the sky, setting within a few hours. At the same time, you see the spring stars rising in the east. You should easily note the number of bright stars on the western side of the sky versus the eastern.

In the Morning

The rising Summer Milky Way over Rice, CA – March 27, 2020 around 5:00 am

Early birds will see the Spring constellations to the west, while the Summer constellations will be in the east. Those who wish to see “The Summer Milky Way” need to wait until around 4am local time before you start seeing it high enough in the sky.

Speaking of Planets…

Mars will once again be your only planet visible to the naked eye in the evening sky. One may notice how much dimmer it looks compared to how bright it looked in October. That’s simply because it’s much further away!

Jupiter and Saturn will be visible low in the east JUST before dawn, but because of its position above the horizon, it may be difficult to observe due to atmospheric turbulence. If you do notice them, you should notice now that Saturn rises before Jupiter… up until Winter Solstice 2020, it was the other way around!

Mercury will be visible with Jupiter and Saturn early in the month before it goes back to getting too close the Sun’s glare. Venus will be lost in the Sun’s glare throughout the month of March.

Any Interesting Celestial Events?

The following text is color coded for the Celestial Event Scale.

March 4 – Mercury Jupiter Conjunction

Category 3 – Impressive

Mercury and Jupiter will meet, and both will be visible at the same time through a telescope at low power. You can catch this low in the south eastern sky before sunrise. You will also see Saturn close by further to the right, hence you can consider this a triple conjunction! Look southeast at 5:15 am.

March 10 – Quadruple Formation

Category 3 – Impressive

You will Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon will be in close proximity, and form an odd four sided shape! This will be visible early in the morning just after 5:15 am local time, and if you have an unobstructed view of the southeastern sky, you will be able to see all four objects. Mercury will be the same height as the Moon, so if you can see one, you can see the other. 

Support Your Neighborhood Astronomers

Most mainstream media sources get their info from people like us, but don’t always get it right! Help support those who observe the sky and look for cool events to check out so you don’t have to!

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