Weekly Stargazing Tips

Unless otherwise specified, viewing times are local time regardless of time zone, and are good for the entire Lower 48 states (and, generally, for Alaska and Hawaii). Check out last week's tips if you missed a night.

Full Moon

The Moon is full today at 12:05 p.m. CDT, when it lines up opposite the Sun in our sky. The full Moon of March is known as the Sap Moon, Worm Moon, or Lenten Moon.

Berenice’s Hair

Queen Berenice spreads her tresses across the eastern sky this evening. They form a tight spray of faint stars known as Coma Berenices. The constellation is low in the east at nightfall, far to the left of the Moon.


Arcturus, the brightest star of Bootes, the herdsman, stands far to the left of the Moon as they climb skyward in mid-evening. It is one of the brightest stars in the entire night sky, so you shouldn’t have any trouble spotting it.

Moon and Spica

Spica, the leading light of the constellation Virgo, is easy to spot tonight because it is quite close to the right or upper right of the Moon as they rise in late evening.

On the Frontier

Today, the North Star is Polaris. Over thousands of years, though, Earth’s axis wobbles, so it points at different stars. Five millennia ago, it pointed at Thuban in Draco, the dragon, so it was the North Star.

Beehive Cluster

The Beehive, a star cluster in the constellation Cancer, stands high overhead in late evening. The cluster is about 500 light-years from Earth. To the unaided eye it looks like a faint smudge of light, but binoculars reveal dozens of stars.

Moon and Saturn

Look for Saturn quite close to the lower right of the Moon at first light tomorrow. The giant planet looks like a bright golden star.


©2015 The University of Texas McDonald Observatory