The Night Sky - March 2018
At the start of March it is dark enough to begin observing around an hour or so after sunset. The winter constellations
hold sway with Orion culminating in the Southern sky, Taurus to his north west and Gemini to his north east. By mid month around 10pm
the 'backwards question mark'of Leo's Sickle asterism with the bright 1st magnitude Regulus at it's base.
Within our own solar system
Jupiter rises just before midnight at the beginning of the month and about one hour earlier by month's end. While the innermost planet
Mercury gives its best evening apparation this month when it reaches its peak height above the western horizon on March 15th when,
at greatest elongation it lies some 18 degrees east of the Sun.
Highlights of the Month:
- 2nd - 4th (after sunset): Venus and Mercury within 1.3 degrees
- 10th - 11th (before dawn): Saturn, Mars and a waning Moon
- 19th (after sunset): Venus, Mercury and a very thin crescent Moon
- 23rd evening: The Moon in the Hyades Cluster
Information collated from Jodrell Bank and Astronomy Now magazine