In the Sky This Month - March 2021 - Rick Wagner
01 Mar - bright Mars passes several degrees south of
the Pleiades star cluster. Mars makes a very
photogenic pass between the Pleiades and the Hyades
clusters over the ~10 days. Perfect chance to sketch
the motion for the Orbital Motion requirement of the
Explore the Universe certificate.
01-15 Mar - Zodiacal light is visible in the west
towards the end of evening twilight as a faint and hazy
triangular pillar of light extending upwards from the
western horizon towards the Pleiades.
04 Mar - asteroid 4 Vesta at opposition in the hindquarters
of Leo the lion. At magnitude 6.0 it might be
barely visible to the naked eye for the more eagle-eyed
of us. Vesta is the only minor planet which is ever
visible to the naked eye for most people.
04 Mar - Algol at minimum about 20:10
05 Mar - Mercury (mag 0) is less than a degree north
of Jupiter (mag -2) very low in the ESE sky starting
about 45 minutes before sunrise. At the same time all
4 Galilean moons of Jupiter will be in a line on the
west side of the planet - visible in carefully held
binoculars and small telescopes. Saturn (mag 1) is 9
degrees to the upper right of Jupiter.
06 Mar - Last quarter Moon
06 Mar - Mercury at greatest elongation west low in
the eastern sky in morning twilight
09-11 Mar - crescent Moon passes about 4d south of
Saturn then Jupiter and then Mercury low in the
eastern sky in morning twilight
13 Mar - New Moon
13 Mar - William Herschel discovered Uranus 240 yrs
ago today - take your binoculars or telescope out to
look at it after evening twilight and celebrate the
14 Mar - 0200 Daylight saving time begins, clocks
18 Mar - Mars and the Moon are near the Hyades and
Pleiades star clusters.
20 Mar - 13:37EDT vernal equinox - the Sun is
overhead at the equator and we get (roughly) equal
hours of daytime and nighttime.
21 Mar - First quarter Moon
23 Mar - Mars is 7d north of Aldebaran - compare their
colours and brightnesses!
27 Mar - 20:30-21:30 Earth Hour - turn off your lights
and devices and get out to look at the sky!
28 Mar - Full Moon