March 2023 offers some exciting astronomical events to observe in the night sky, including planetary conjunctions, a meteor shower, and a full moon. Here are some of the highlights:
On March 1st, Mars and Saturn will appear in a close conjunction in the predawn sky, with Jupiter nearby. Look to the southeastern sky just before sunrise to catch this trio of planets in close proximity.
The full moon of March, known as the Worm Moon, will occur on March 8th. This is the first full moon of spring and is so named because it coincides with the time when earthworms begin to emerge from the ground. The moon will rise in the east around sunset and set in the west around sunrise.
Mercury at Greatest Eastern Elongation:
On March 15th, Mercury will reach its greatest eastern elongation, meaning it will be at its farthest point from the sun as seen from Earth. This makes it an ideal time to observe the planet in the western sky just after sunset.
The vernal equinox, also known as the first day of spring, will occur on March 20th. This marks the moment when the sun crosses the celestial equator and day and night are approximately equal in length.
Lyrid Meteor Shower:
The Lyrid meteor shower will peak on the night of March 22nd into the morning of March 23rd. This meteor shower is known for producing bright, fast-moving meteors, although the number of meteors per hour is typically lower than some of the more famous meteor showers.
Jupiter at Opposition:
On March 27th, Jupiter will be at opposition, meaning it will be directly opposite the sun as seen from Earth, making it an ideal time to observe the gas giant and its moons through a telescope.
To observe these astronomical events, find a dark location away from city lights and look up at the sky during the appropriate times. A pair of binoculars or a telescope can enhance the viewing experience, especially for observing planets and their moons. Happy stargazing. There is a group of sqm club who observes everything in detail.
Night Sky for April 2023
April 2023 brings some exciting astronomical events to observe in the night sky, including a meteor shower, a lunar eclipse, and a planetary conjunction. Here are some of the highlights:
Lyrid Meteor Shower:
The Lyrid meteor shower will continue through the first week of April, with the peak occurring on the night of April 21st into the morning of April 22nd. This meteor shower is known for producing bright, fast-moving meteors, and observers can expect to see around 10 to 20 meteors per hour.
Pink Full Moon:.
The full moon of April, known as the Pink Moon, will occur on April 7th. Despite its name, the moon won’t actually appear pink. But rather a golden color as it rises in the east around sunset and sets in the west around sunrise.
On April 21st, a total lunar eclipse will occur, visible from most of North and South America, Asia, and Australia. During a lunar eclipse, the moon passes through the Earth’s shadow, causing it to appear reddish-orange. The eclipse will begin in the early morning hours and last for several hours, with totality occurring around 4:30am EDT.
On April 30th, Jupiter and Saturn will appear in a close conjunction in the predawn sky, with the moon nearby. Look to the southeastern sky just before sunrise to catch this trio of celestial objects in close proximity.
To observe these astronomical events, find a dark location away from city lights and look up. At the sky during the appropriate times. A pair of binoculars or a telescope can enhance the viewing experience, especially for observing planets and their moons. The best time for watching the after-dark activity even has a name—the “observing season.” Normally, it starts in April and ends in October. Ursa Major, Leo and Leo Minor are located in the northern celestial hemisphere, Happy stargazing!
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