Jeffers Foundation

ASTRONOMY

Astronomy

March, 2018

Highlights
Highlights
From the outside, we can see the path our solar system takes, along with other stars, through our home galaxy. Approximately 30,000 light-years from the center, our solar system is tipped at a 62 degree angle to the galactic plane. This provides us unique seasonal views of the Milky Way. As spring begins, Earth's night side faces above the disk. With fewer stars in this direction, we have a clear view into intergalactic space. Just three months later, however, we'll be facing into our galactic core, with a stellar population so dense we can't see the other side. Fall will again point us toward the southern pole, with a noticable absence of stars. Finally, winter will align again with the disk, but now pointed away from the core. The Milky Way will not appear as dense as summer, but will still amaze.

Morning Sky

Prior to sunrise, Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter appear in the southeast, south, and southwest, respectively. The Moon joins Jupiter on March 7, then Mars and Saturn on March 10. Mars and Saturn move closer together, just 1.65 degrees apart by the end of the month. Look south-southeast an hour before sunrise.

Evening Sky

Mercury and Venus climb out from behind the Sun, appearing just one degree apart, low in the west 30 minutes after sunset on March 20. The best view of Mercury will be on March 15. Look low in the western sky. The pair are joined by the Moon on March 18. By month's end, Venus is nearly 20 degrees from the Sun, while Mercury has dipped back into the Sun's glare.

Sun Declination

PHENOMENA

1st, Full Moon - 6:51 pm

5th, Mercury 1.40 degrees north of Venus - 12:29 pm

9th, Last Quarter Moon - 5:20 am

11th, Daylight Savings Time begins - 2:00 am

11th, Moon apogee (251,455 miles) - 4:13 am

17th, New Moon Snowshoe Breaking (Ojibwe) - 8:12 am

17th, Mercury 3.88 degrees north of Venus - 8:16 pm

20th, Vernal equinox; spring begins N Hemisphere - 11:15 am

22nd, Moon near Aldebaran high in south - near sunset

24th, First Quarter Moon - 10:53 am

26th, Moon perigee (229,352 miles) - 12:16 pm

28th, Moon occults Regulus - 9:14-9:51 am

28th, Venus 0.07 degrees south of Uranus - 7:13 pm

29th, Moon perigee (226,094 miles) - 7:32 am

31st, Full Moon Blue Moon - 7:37 am

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