Stargazing in Marcd
March ushers in the official start of spring by the spring equinox, after which days will once again grow longer (or, technically speaking, brighter). Meanwhile, in the night skies above, several planets will be noticeable this month.
Here’s a guide to some of the celestial highlights that will be visible in the night skies of North America during March:
The planet Venus will continue to glow in the western sky after sunset throughout the month. It will be the brightest object in the sky aside from the Moon and will set a few hours after the Sun.
Mars will also be visible in the evening sky during March, appearing as a reddish-orange star-like object. Look for it in the constellation Taurus, in the western sky after sunset.
Jupiter will be visible in the morning sky, rising a few hours before the Sun. It will be in the constellation Aquarius.
Saturn will be visible in the morning sky as well, rising shortly after Jupiter. It will be in the constellation Capricornus.
The Lyrid meteor shower, which peaks on the night of April 21-22, will ramp up in late March. Although it won’t be at its strongest until next month, you may spot some shooting stars if you’re lucky.
Here are some notable constellations that you can see in the night skies of North America during March:
Orion: One of the most recognizable and prominent constellations, Orion is visible in the southwestern sky during the early evening hours in March. Look for its distinctive “belt” of three stars, as well as its bright stars Betelgeuse and Rigel.
Taurus: This constellation is home to the bright star Aldebaran and the famous Pleiades star cluster, also known as the Seven Sisters. Look for Taurus in the western sky after sunset.
Canis Major: This constellation is home to Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky. Look for Canis Major in the southeastern sky after sunset.
Ursa Major: we also know it as the Great Bear and contains the famous Big Dipper asterism. Look for Ursa Major in the northern sky during the evening hours.
Leo: This constellation is visible in the eastern sky during the late evening hours in March. Look for its distinctive backwards question mark-shaped asterism known as the Sickle, as well as the bright star Regulus.
Remember, the best way to view constellations and the night sky is to find a dark location away from city lights, and to give your eyes time to adjust to the darkness. Binoculars or a telescope can also enhance your viewing experience. Happy stargazing! You can also use star charts or smartphone apps to help identify constellations and other celestial objects. Happy stargazing!
March’s full moon is often known as the “Worm Moon” because it coincides with the time of year when the ground begins to thaw and earthworms emerge from the soil. The name “Worm Moon” is said to have been coined by Native American tribes, who traditionally named each full moon of the year based on natural phenomena associated with that time of year.
The appearance of earthworms is an important sign of the coming of spring, as it signals that the soil is warming up and becoming more hospitable to plant growth. As the snow melts and the ground thaws, earthworms emerge from their winter hibernation and aerate the soil and decompose organic matter, which helps to fertilize the soil and support plant growth.
The Worm Moon is just one of many traditional full moon names that have been passed down through generations of Native American cultures. Other examples include the Snow Moon (February), the Flower Moon (May), and the Harvest Moon (September).
Originally Published on https://boomersnotsenior.blogspot.com/