Moon – Mars Conjunction

   Monday evening March 11th the 5-day old waxing crescent Moon will be about 7o from the outer terrestrial planet Mars. Both the Moon and Mars will be over the western horizon at sunset, and both should fit nicely within the field of view of 7×50 binoculars.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.


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Spring Forward!

   Sunday morning March 10th, in most of the United States of America, people will be setting their clocks one hour forward. This annual ‘event’ is often referred to by the phrase “Spring Forward”.
By setting clocks one hour forward it puts the U.S.A. on Daylight Saving Time. For you astronomical types, and you know who you are, I live at approximately    94oW, in the Central Time Zone. Using UT, Universal Time springing forward for me is a change from UT-6 to UT-5.
   
   You can learn a lot about time and calendars at the Time and Date web site.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.


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Moon Conjunction with Uranus

   Saturday evening March 9th the thin 3-day old waxing crescent Moon will be about 6-7o from the outer planet Uranus. Both will be above the western horizon at sunset local time, setting about 2 hours after the Sun sets.
   Is it possible to see Uranus? Currently the apparent magnitude of Uranus is within the range that is visible to the unaided eye in very dark skies, or at least with binoculars. However even at a thin crescent shape the nearby Moon may brighten the sky too much to allow for seeing Uranus. There is a noticeable difference in the apparent brightness of the crescent Moon and Uranus. The Moon has a -10.0 apparent magnitude compared to Uranus with a 5.87 apparent magnitude.
   Despite the moonlight Uranus is visible as a faint star through binoculars at its current apparent magnitude and using the Moon as a guide it may be possible to spot Uranus. You may just have to wait until the Moon rises well after sunset leaving the sky relatively darker.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.


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Neptune and Vesta at Solar Conjunction

   Thursday March 7th the outer planet Neptune, and Asteroid Vesta reach a point in their respective orbit where they move behind the Sun as we view them from Earth. Neptune, or any of the other outer planets (Mars to Neptune), dwarf planets, or small solar system bodies beyond the Earth’s orbit, will all eventually reach this position on the opposite side of the Sun known as solar conjunction.
   For the two inner planets, Mercury and Venus, when they are at a similar position on the opposite side of the Sun, they are at superior conjunction.
   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.


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March Moon at Descending Node

   Saturday March 2nd the Moon will be crossing the plane of the ecliptic moving south. This is known as the descending node, one of two intersections the Moon’s orbital path (dark green line) has with the ecliptic.
   On the day of the node crossing the 26-day old waning crescent Moon will be over the southeast horizon rising about 1-2 hours before the Sun rises. Toward the west from the Moon will be two outer planets, Saturn and Jupiter, and a bit further west the dwarf planet Ceres. About 4-5o east from the Moon is the inner planet Venus. Both will easily fit within the field of view of 7×50 binoculars.
   
   
   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.


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Waning Crescent Moon in a Close Conjunction with Saturn

    Friday March 1st the 25-day old waning crescent Moon will be less than 0.5o from the ringed planet Saturn, as the two rise before the Sun rises. In other parts of the world the Moon actually passes in front of Saturn in an occultation. Regardless of the viewing location the thin waning crescent Moon and the planet Saturn should make for a great view with binoculars.

   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.


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Moon Conjunction with Dwarf Planet Ceres, then the Next Day with Jupiter

   In the hour or so before the Sun rises on the morning of February 26th look for the 21-day old last quarter Moon to be about 3-4o from the Dwarf Planet Ceres. Realize, however, that seeing Ceres is not really possible given that Ceres has an apparent magnitude of between 7th to 8th, while the last Quarter Moon has an apparent magnitude between -11th to -12th.
   In any case, on the morning of the 27th look for the 22-day old waning crescent Moon to be about 1-2o from the outer planet Jupiter.


   
   
   

Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for monthly observing information, or here to return to bobs-spaces.


Also Follow me and other great resources at Feedspot.