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.

Hints of Life

Mars is in view in the early evening sky right now. It is close to the lower right of Venus, the “evening star.” It is quite low in the sky, however, so you may need binoculars to help you pick it out.

Beta Cassiopeia

A bright star in Cassiopeia is nearing the end of its life, so it is beginning to puff up like a giant balloon. Beta Cassiopeia is in the northwest this evening, at the bottom of a sideways letter W formed by some of the constellation’s brightest stars.

Adhara

The big dog ambles across the south tonight, led by Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky. Adhara, one of the dog’s hind legs, is below Sirius. It’s actually much brighter than Sirius, but looks fainter because it’s much farther away.

Moon and Jupiter

Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, is putting in a big appearance tonight. It stands close to the upper left of the Moon at nightfall, and looks like a brilliant star.

Moon and Regulus

The almost-full Moon glides past the heart of Leo, the lion, tonight. Regulus huddles close to the lower left of the Moon at nightfall. The planet Jupiter, which far outshines Regulus, stands well above them.

Early Summer

Summer is months away, but the season’s best-known star pattern is already peeking into view in the pre-dawn sky. The Summer Triangle, which is marked by the stars Vega, Deneb, and Altair, stands well up in the east at first light.

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.

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