Star Gazing Night Sky Guide For March 2015 (Video)
(N.Morgan) Since the beginning of time, man has used the stars in his every day life, from telling the seasons to telling the time. March is a busy month in the Heaves and we will be treated to a beautiful show in the sky.
With fireball season underway there are many reports of bright fireballs coming in from all over the world, the latest coming from India on February 27. The season will last until April.
Total solar eclipse will occur on March 20 when the Moon will completely block the Sun. The path of totality for this eclipse will be limited to the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans between Greenland and northern Russia.
On the same day, at 22:45 UTC, March Equinox will occur. The Sun will shine directly on the equator and there will be nearly equal amounts of day and night throughout the world. This is also the first day of spring (vernal equinox) in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of fall (autumnal equinox) in the Southern Hemisphere.
Venus and Mars hang over the western horizon after sunset. Aim a telescope at the planets to get a closer look. After dark, Jupiter shines high in the southeastern sky. A telescope will reveal the gas planet’s dark-colored bands.
Constellations and Deep-Sky Objects
As the brilliant stars of winter progress toward the west, the constellations of spring make their appearance.
Two March constellations derived from Greek mythology, Gemini and Cancer, lie in the zodiac. The zodiac is the name for the band of sky through which the Sun, Moon, and planets appear to travel.
The Gemini twins lie high overhead. They were among
Jason’s Argonauts, who sailed the seas searching for the
Golden Fleece. Tonight’s Sky-March, 2015 2
The two bright stars are the heads of the brothers, Castor
A fuzzy patch lies near the “feet” of the Gemini twins. Called
M35, it is a pretty cluster of several hundred stars.
Cancer is often identified as a crab but has also been seen
as a lobster or crayfish. In Greek mythology, Cancer was
placed in the heavens by Hera, wife of Zeus, to immortalize
its tenacious but futile battle with Hercules.
It is a much dimmer constellation than Gemini, and hard to
see in light-polluted skies.
Within Cancer lies the lovely Beehive Cluster. Ancient
stargazers called it “the cloudy star.” This large cluster
contains hundreds of stars and lies about 577 light-years
away from us.
Watch for Saturn rising in the southeast after midnight. The
ringed planet will climb high into the southern sky by dawn.
A total solar eclipse will take place on March 20th, but it will only be visible from the North Atlantic and Arctic oceans.
Skywatchers in Europe, northern Africa, and northwestern Asia will be treated to a partial solar eclipse. Tonight’s Sky-March, 2015 3
The night sky is always a celestial showcase.
Explore its wonders from your own backyard.
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