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Look in your western sky at nightfall and early evening. Mars will be the reddish “star” right next to the waxing moon.
Early stargazers used this pair of stars as a vision test.
Innermost Mercury – and distant Uranus – are low in the western sky after sunset. Start looking for them as soon as your sky begins to darken.
If you can find the Big Dipper, you can also find 2 Hunting Dogs – aka Canes Venatici – seen by the ancient stargazers to be nipping at the Bear’s heels.
You have far south on Earth’s globe to see the Southern Cross. Bluish Acrux, aka Alpha Crucis, is its brightest star.
The Big Dipper is easy. And, once you find it, you can find the Little Dipper, too. Plus … learn how the stars of the Big Dipper are moving in space.
Epsilon Aurigae’s light dims for a period of about 2 years, in a 27-year cycle. The star’s last dimming was from 2009 to 2011.
Coma Berenices – aka Berenices’ Hair – requires a dark sky to be seen. But it’s worth the effort, a wonderful star cluster!
To astronomers, the word “luminous” refers to a star’s intrinsic brightness. Sirius is our sky’s brightest star, but only because it’s relatively nearby at 8.6 light-years away.
Orange Arcturus is the constellation Bootes the Herdsman’s brightest star. Look for it in the east around nightfall.
How can the sun rise due east and set due west – for all of us – on the day of the March equinox? Explanation, charts, diagrams, here.
The sun is a disk, not a point of light. Plus Earth’s atmosphere refracts sunlight. For both reasons, we have more than 12 hours of daylight on the day of an equinox.
We’re talking about the amount of time needed for the body of the sun to sink below the horizon. It’s true. The sun actually sets faster around the time of an equinox.
And Mercury is climbing into it. By late March, Venus will have moved to the east before dawn as Mercury stages its best evening apparition of the year for northern observers.
Meet Regulus, brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion.
The famous constellation Orion disappears into the sun’s glare every year at this time. It happens as Earth makes its grand tour each year, around the sun.
Watch for the moon late at night now, or before dawn. Last quarter moon will come on March 20, the same date as the equinox.
The Big Dipper is easy to recognize, but the Little Dipper … not so much. Here’s a tip that can help.
Here’s how to spot Polaris, aka the North Star. The 2 outer stars in the Big Dipper’s bowl point to it.
Jupiter and the moon will appear as nighttime’s two brightest lights. They’ll be close as seen from around the world.
Sun halo over snowy Cape Breton Island