March 2008

Vernal Equinox

Spring begins on March 19th when the Spring Equinox occurs. The Spring Equinox occurs when the tilt of the Earth is in tangent with the orbit of Earth around the Sun.  This point marks the beginning of Spring.  An Equinox has an equal amount of daylight and nighttime.

Lunar Events

The new moon for March occurs on Friday, March 7th. This will make the weekend March 8th-9th as the best weekend for Dark Sky Viewing.

The full moon for March occurs on March 21st and is known as the Pink or Pascal Moon.

Mercury

Twin Morning Stars

Mercury can be located less than 4° from Venus for the entire month of March.

March 3, 3008 - Mercury Greatest Western ElongationOn March 3rd, when Mercury reaches it’s Greatest Western Elongation, Mercury will be less than 2°15′ from Venus.

Look in the East, before sunrise, all month, to see the twin Morning Stars!

March 5, 2008 - Neptune, Vnus, Mercury, Moon

On March 5th, there will be a quadriple conjunction with Mercury, Venus, Neptune and the waning, crescent moon being within 4°15′ of each other.

Mercury starts out this month in the constellation Capriornus and on March 12 it moves into the constellation Aquarius until the last hours of March when it moves into the constellation Pisces.

Venus

March 23, 2008 - Venus, Mercury

Venus and Mercury form the twin morning stars this month. They pass closest to each other on March 23rd when they will be with 1° of each other.

Venus starts the month in the constellation Capricornus until March 10th, when it will move into the constellation Aquarius, where it will finish out the month.

Mars

March 15, 2008 - Mars, Moon

Mars is still in fantastic position for observation this month. You can find Mars at sunset this month near the zenith at sunset. On March 5th Mars moves fromt he constellation Taurus into the constellation Gemini where it will finish out the month.

Jupiter

Jupiter is located in the constellation Sagittarius until January, 2009. Jupiter is visible in the morning hours all month.

March 3, 2008 - Jupiter, Moon

On March 3rd Jupiter rises within 8° of the waning, crescent moon and again on March 30th it will rise within 5°15′ of the Last Quarter moon.

MArch 30,2008 - Jupiter, Moon

Saturn

Saturn is in fantastic position for observation for the next few month. Saturn was at Opposition on February 24th, so it will be visible all night, all month.

March 19,2008 - Saturn, Moon On March 19th Saturn will set a mere 3°30′ from the waxing, gibbous moon.

Saturn is located in the constellation Leo until the year 2009.

Uranus

Located in the constellation Aquarius until the year 2009, Uranus is not observable this month, due to its proximity to the glare of the Sun.

Neptune

Neptune is located in the constellation Capricornus until the year 2010. At the beginning of March, Neptune rises about one hour before sunrise and, by the end of the month, Neptune is rising about three hours before sunrise.

Mar 5, 2008 - Neptune, Venus, Mercury, Moon Neptune will be passed by a parade of celestial object in March: March 5th - Neptune is passed by the the waning, crescent moon, March 6th - Venus will overtake Neptune, March 8th - It will be Mercury’s turn to pass by Neptune.

Pluto

Pluto is found in the constellation Sagittarius until the year 2023. The former planet Pluto can be found in the morning hours all month. At the beginning of the month Pluto rises around 2:00am (PST) and by the end of the month it will rise around midnight.

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