- March 2009
As spring arrives, the warmer nights begin to beckon skywatchers out of
their winter dens and into the darkness. Those who heed the call can watch
as Venus <http://stardate.org/resources/ssguide/venus.html> makes its final
evening-star appearance of the year, and as Saturn
<http://stardate.org/resources/ssguide/saturn.html> puts in its best
showing. The constellations of spring are in full view, with Leo
<http://stardate.org/nightsky/constellations/leo.html> and Virgo, marked by
the bright stars Regulus and Spica, climbing the eastern sky in the evening
and passing high overhead later on. Arcturus, in Boötes
<http://stardate.org/nightsky/constellations/bootes.html> , begins to make
its way across the sky, like a yellow-orange beacon heralding the changing
seasons in the sky.
8-10 The Moon
past the star Regulus and the planet Saturn. They are in the east as night
falls. The Moon is above them on the night of the 8th, between them on the
9th (with Regulus above the Moon, Saturn below), and below them on the 10th.
Saturn is at opposition on the 8th, so it lines up opposite the Sun
<http://stardate.org/resources/ssguide/sun.html> in our sky. It rises
around sunset, is visible all night, and is brightest for the year.
17 Antares, the brightest star of Scorpius
<http://stardate.org/nightsky/constellations/scorpius.html> , stands a
little to the right of the Moon at first light this morning.
22/23 The Moon and Jupiter
<http://stardate.org/resources/ssguide/jupiter.html> team up in the dawn
sky. Jupiter, which looks like a brilliant star, is to the lower left of the
Moon on the morning of the 22nd, but to its right on the 23rd.
24 Mars <http://stardate.org/resources/ssguide/mars.html> is just below the
Moon early this morning, quite low in the southeast about 30-40 minutes
before sunrise. You probably will need binoculars to spot Mars.
20 The vernal equinox occurs at 6:44 a.m. CDT, marking the beginning of
spring in the northern hemisphere.
27 Venus passes between Earth and the Sun. It will return to view as the
"morning star" in a few days.
From StarDate www.stardate.org <http://www.stardate.org/>
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