The month marches in like a lion, with the constellation Leo leaping proudly across the sky all night. Some of the icons of winter remain in good view as well. Orion is in the southwest at nightfall, with Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, twinkling in the south. Venus continues to dominate the dawn as the “morning star,” while orange Mars huddles close to blue-white Spica.
This Week's Stargazing Tips
March 10: Moon, Jupiter, and Procyon
Two bright lights bracket the gibbous Moon tonight. The brilliant planet Jupiter, which looks like a cream-colored star, stands to the upper right of the Moon at nightfall. Procyon, the brightest star of Canis Minor, is farther below the Moon.
March 11: Cancer
Cancer, the crab, is well up in the east at nightfall, to the lower left of the Moon. Although it is part of the zodiac, its stars are dim. The brightest, Beta Cancri, is so faint you may not be able to see it from a suburb, let alone a bright city.
March 12: Green Flash
Earth’s atmosphere bends and splits sunlight, creating rainbows and other displays, including the rarely seen “green flash.” Under clear, clean skies it appears with the first burst of sunlight before sunrise or the last glimpse at sunset.
March 13: Moon and Regulus
The Moon is in view most of the night tonight. Regulus, the brightest star of Leo, is close to its lower left as night falls, and stays close throughout the night.
March 14: Mercury in the Morning
The little planet Mercury just peeks into view over the next few days. Although it is quite bright, it’s also quite low in the east at first light, making it tough to find. In fact, from high northern latitudes it might not be visible at all.
March 15: Full Moon
The Moon will be full at mid-day tomorrow as it passes directly opposite the Sun in our sky. The full Moon of March is known as the Sap Moon, Worm Moon, or Lenten Moon.
March 16: Old Mars Rock
Mars is putting in a good showing right now. The planet rises in late evening and shines like a bright orange star. It will get even brighter over the coming weeks as Earth moves closer to it.
Check last week's tips if you missed a day.