Weymouth Astronomy

The Planets - March 2018

Observing the planets can be extremely rewarding. Everyone remembers the first time they observed Saturn and it's rings or the gas giant Jupiter and it's Galillean Moons. Solar System


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.


Venus lies low in the west after sunset shining at magnitude -3.9 all month with an angular size of 10.3 arc seconds. Venus rises a little higher in the sky as March progresses initially setting around one hour after the Sun but increasing to an hour and a half by the end of the month.


Mars starts the month in Ophiuchus, moving into Sagittarius on the 12th as it approaches Saturn. Currently a morning object and it rises around 2am at the start of the month.


Jupiter rises just before midnight at the beginning of the month and about one hour earlier by the end of March. Sadly Jupiter lying in Libra during the month, is heading towards the southern part of the ecliptic and will only have an elevation of 20 degrees when crossing the meridian.


Saturn is currently lying in Sagittarius just 3 degrees above the topmost star of the 'teapot'. Although even when at opposition later in the year it will only reach an elevation of just over 15 degrees above the horizon when crossing the meridian.

Information collated from Jodrell Bank and Astronomy Now magazine