What's to see in the night sky in March?

March, 2001

This chart represents the sky as it looks at around 10 PM local time. Some adjustment should be made for longitude, but it shouldn't be much. Right click on the chart, select "Save As" and save the image. You can then print this chart from a photo application, like Print Shop Pro, hold it in front of you with the direction you are facing at the bottom. Then, raise it above your head and you should be able to find your way around from there.


Moon phases

New-3/14_____First Quarter-3/22____Full-3/28____Last Quarter-3/6

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter
Mercury is fast diving back toward the Sun. If you had found it in February, there may be a chance for you to follow it this month, but be careful.
Venus should become visible in the evening sky around the first week of the month. As it does, it becomes the most reported UFO by those not in the know and even some that should know! :-)
Mars is up in the west after sunset and continues its slow fall towards the Sun. There's a nice arrangement between Venus, Mars and Saturn surrounding the end of the month. The three planets will be almost equal distances apart just after sunset, with Venus being lowest and Mars in the middle.
Jupiter starts the month just east of south and almost straight up. By month's end, he is straight south. Very bright and always worth a look! Saturn enters the month on a slow slide toward the western horizon. On March 20th, it is once again occulted by the moon at ~10:20 UT, (3:20 am MST, 4:20 EST). Get up early, or stay up late! :-)

Meteor showers
Virginids peak at ~5/hr on 3/24

Deep Sky Objects (DSO's)
Messier Objects M48-Open cluster in Hydra, M44-BIG open cluster in Cancer (The Beehive Cluster), M67-Open cluster in Cancer, M81 and M82-Interacting galaxies in Ursa Major. M81 and 82 are visible in small telescopes. M82 is a lovely almost face on spiral that has tidally disrupted M81. Very nice pair in the same wide-angle field of view!
Named DSO's Ngc 2481-A nice edge on spiral galaxy in small scopes. The site of a supernova in 1998 I may have mentioned to a few of you.

Here's the link to SEDS as promised.

January's page February's page March's's page April's page May's page June's page
July's page August's page September's page October's page November's page December's page

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Copyright 2000, Steve Dodder
Webmaster: Steve Dodder
Revised: 9/21/00