Astronomy Events – March 2014

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by yaska77

The weather is turning! It must be by now!? After the wettest (and probably windiest) winter on record in the UK karma best be ready to give us an amazing Spring!!

The layer of dust currently sitting on our telescopes could be used to insulate a small home.

So we’re eager for some dry, clear and wind-free evenings to get back into observing and imaging our skies. Thankfully you can always be sure someone has a good view of the night sky, so we’re enjoying keeping up with fellow enthusiasts like us on Twitter, because there are images aplenty to at least temporarily satiate our passion for astronomy!

However, to help keep you inspired we’ve noted below some points of astronomical interest for the upcoming calendar month. Keep watching the skies!

Saturday 1st March – The New Moon rises with (and sets just after) the Sun today, so now is a good time to observe deep sky objects when the skies are unaffected by moonlight

There is a second New Moon at the end of the month

Monday 3rd March – Ringed planet Saturn reaches stationary point today, and will now be in retrograde motion where it appears to move contrary to it’s usual course across the sky

Brightening slightly by the end of the month, Saturn is always one of the most beautiful sights to see if you have a telescope or good pair of binoculars

Despite its attraction we've not managed to image Saturn all that often, so we're hoping for another go at imaging it over March (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn
Despite its attraction we’ve not managed to image Saturn all that often, so we’re hoping for another go at it over March (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Friday 7th March – Orange giant star Aldebaran (part of the constellation Taurus) is visited closely by the Moon this evening, which sits nicely in the middle of the Hyades cluster (to the south west) directly to the right of Orion

Moon and Aldebaran 21.00 UTC 07032014 Sky-Watching.co.uk
The Moon makes a close visit to Aldebaran and the Hyades cluster this evening. Shown above at 21:00 UTC to the WSW (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Saturday 8th March – The Moon can be seen at First Quarter phase this evening

Tuesday 11th March – Today the Moon is at Apogee at a distance of 405,365 km (251,882 miles) the furthest point out in its orbit around the Earth

Friday 14th March Mercury is at Greatest Western Elongation today, however the planet is too close to the Sun this month for any meaningful observation from our latitudes

Sunday 16th March – The Full Moon in the sky tonight is also sometimes known as the Fish Moon, Sleepy Moon or Chaste Moon

And continuing our recent addition to this guide, below we’ve provided constellation guides for Southern and Northern skies in March!

Shown at 00:00 UTC on 16th March, both these images are a handy guide for the whole month. This is the view you’ll get looking south (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium
Shown at 00:00 UTC on 16th March, both these images are a handy guide for the whole month. This is the view you’ll get looking south (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium
Displaying the night sky midway through the month, this image can help you identify the constellations you’ll see in the northern sky in March (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium
Displaying the night sky midway through the month, this image can help you identify the constellations you’ll see in the northern sky in March (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Thursday 20th March Spring Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere (also known as the Vernal Equinox)

Saturday 22nd March Venus is at Greatest Western Elongation this morning, meaning the bright planet can be seen rising before sunrise

Monday 24th March – This morning the Moon is seen at Last Quarter phase

Thursday 27th March – The crescent Moon is at Perigee today at a distance of 365,705 km (227,239 miles), the closest point of its orbit to the Earth, and appears very close to Venus in the early hours this morning

Shown below at 05:00 UTC, look low down towards the Eastern horizon

The waning crescent Moon appears very close to Venus in the early morning sky, shown at 05:00 UTC (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium
The waning crescent Moon appears very close to Venus in the early morning sky, shown above at 05:00 UTC (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Sunday 30th March – British Summer Time begins in the UK, and the clocks go forward 1 hour from 01:00 GMT/UTC to 02:00 BST

And the second New Moon of the month makes this another good time to observe galaxies and nebulae with the Moon out of the way!

As usual, if you take any photos throughout March you’d like to show us, please tweet them to us using the link below! We’d love to see your efforts!

Planets visible this month:

Jupiter
Venus
Uranus
Mars
Mercury
Saturn

Remember, it can take your eyes up to 20 minutes to become properly dark adapted, and anything up to an hour for a telescope to reach ambient temperature outside (to ensure the best image), so give yourself plenty of time to get set up!

To make it easier to find this list of astronomical happenings you can also locate it in the “Monthly Guide” section in the menu bar to the right. Handy! 🙂

Guide images created with Stellarium

Archive:
Astronomy Events – February 2014
Astronomy Events – January 2014
Astronomy Events – December 2013

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. ronfeir says:

    Amazing image.

    Like

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