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Home / Explore / Experiences / RASC Observatory / Astronomy Info & Events: March

Astronomy Info & Events: March

The Visible Planets

Mercury is not easily seen this month. It starts the month very low in the east-southeastern sky, just barely above the horizon from our latitude, and then slowly sinks in the glare of the rising Sun by March 11.

Venus is not visible this month and will be at superior conjunction (opposite side of the Sun from the Earth) on March 26. Venus will reappear in our early evening western sky, after sunset, by the middle of April.

Mars continues to traverse the stars of the constellation of Taurus, the bull, this month. Look for Mars and the stars of Taurus about halfway up in the south-southwestern sky after sunset, with Mars setting about 6 hours later. On the night of March 19, Mars will be seen just to the west (right) of the waxing crescent Moon making for a nice pairing of these two celestial bodies. The other bright red coloured object near Mars throughout the month is the gleaming eye of Taurus, the star Aldebaran.

Jupiter rises along the east-southeastern horizon before sunrise starting early in the month. As the month progresses, Jupiter slowly becomes more easily visible in our morning sky as it emerges further out of the dawn glow. Jupiter is in the constellation of Capricornus, the sea goat, along with the planet Saturn. On March 4 and 5, Jupiter and Mercury are seen in conjunction, but a clear view low to the east-southeastern horizon and binoculars will be needed to pick them out of the dawn’s glow.

Saturn begins to appear low above the southeastern horizon before sunrise during this month and is found within the constellation of Capricornus, the sea goat. The very slim waning crescent Moon can be seen near and below Saturn before sunrise on March 9. As the month progresses, Saturn continues to move out of the Sun’s glare becoming more easily visible.

Moon Phases

March 5 Last Quarter Moon

March 13 New Moon

March 21 First Quarter Moon

March 28 Full Moon (Worm Moon)

Special Events

International Space Station (ISS) Observable Passes

Look for passes of the International Space Station before sunrise, from March 1 to March 11 in the predawn morning sky. From March 18 onwards the visible ISS passes will take place in the evening hours. Exact times of these passages for your location can be found by visiting the website http://www.heavens-above.com or by using satellite tracking smart phone apps like Sputnik.

March 2 SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch approximately 60 satellites for SpaceX's Starlink broadband network in a once-again-delayed mission designated Starlink 17. Get out and look up to see this train of satellites! See http://www.heavens-above.com for exact times from your location.

March 6 Mercury at greatest western elongation of 27 degrees from the Sun.

March 7 SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch approximately 60 satellites for SpaceX's Starlink broadband network in a mission designated Starlink 20. Get out and look up to see this train of satellites! See http://www.heavens-above.com for exact times from your location.

March 14 Daylight savings time begins! Add 1 hour of time to your clocks (spring ahead)!

March 8 Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) Edmonton Centre meeting

7:30 – 9:30 p.m. (virtual Zoom club meeting)

See https://edmontonrasc.com/ for more details.

March 19 Mars near the waxing crescent Moon tonight.

March 20 Spring equinox occurs at exactly 3:37 a.m. MDT.

March 27 to April 4 School spring break

March 26 Venus at superior conjunction

March 27 Earth Hour (8:30 – 9:30 pm local time)

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