March 2017 star calendar

Star calendar March 2017

1 Mar     Low in the west at dusk, magnitude -4.2 Venus is 1½ fist-widths to the thin waxing crescent moon’s lower right. Magnitude 1.3 Mars is 2 finger-widths to the right.

3 Mar     The moon is at perigee, 369,000 kilometers away.

4 Mar     Magnitude 0.85 Aldebaran is ½ finger-width to the moon’s upper left high in the south at dusk. Later this evening the moon passes within 0.2 degrees of Aldebaran.

5 Mar     The first-quarter moon is 1 fist-width to Aldebaran’s left this evening. Magnitude 1.6 Elnath is 1 fist-width above the moon, and magnitude 0.24 Capella is another 1 ½ fist-widths beyond Elnath, nearly overhead.

6 Mar     At dusk, the moon lies between magnitude 0.5 Betelgeuse, a little more than 1 fist-width to the lower right, and magnitude 1.22 Pollux, nearly 2 fist-widths to the left.

7 Mar     High in the east at dusk, Pollux is 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper left, and magnitude 0.46 Procyon is about the same distance below or to the lower right. At superior conjunction, Mercury passes on the opposite side of the sun and will soon be visible in the evening sky.

10 Mar    Magnitude 1.4 Rigel is 1½ finger-widths above the nearly full moon at dusk.

12 Mar    March’s full moon rises soon after sunset, followed by Jupiter 2 hours later and Spica soon thereafter, 2 finger-widths to the lower right. Daylight saving time begins for most of the United States. Turn your clocks forward one hour.

14 Mar    The moon, Jupiter and Spica rise 2 hours after sunset and form a tight triangle, falling within 2 finger-widths.

15 Mar    Close together low in the southwest before dawn, Jupiter is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right, and Spica is 2 finger-widths to Jupiter’s lower left.

18 Mar    The waning gibbous moon is just above Scorpius low in the south before dawn. The moon is at apogee, 405,000 kilometers away.

19 Mar    This morning the moon forms a triangle with Antares, 1 fist-width to the lower right, and Saturn, the same distance to the lower left.

20 Mar    Saturn is 1 finger-width to the last-quarter moon’s lower right before dawn. The vernal or spring equinox occurs at 1029 UT as the sun crosses the celestial equator from south to north.

22 Mar    Get up an hour or two before sunrise to see the Summer Triangle: Altair is nearly 3 fist-widths to the moon’s upper left, Deneb is 4 fist-widths beyond Altair, and magnitude Vega is 2½ fist-widths to Deneb’s upper right.

29 Mar    Shortly after sunset you may catch a glimpse of elusive Mercury less than 1 fist-width to the thin crescent moon’s lower right.

30 Mar    Magnitude 1.5 Mars is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right tonight. The moon is at perigee, 364,000 kilometers away.

31 Mar    Aldebaran is 2½ finger-widths to the moon’s upper right this evening.

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