Our favorite moon and planets photos from March 16 to 21

The moon swept past the morning planets last week, and the EarthSky Community did a great job capturing each day’s view. Thanks to all who contributed photos to EarthSky Community Photos and to our Facebook page!

Planets and moon, with stars of Sagittarius outlined against the background of the Milky Way.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Dr Ski in Valencia, Philippines, caught Jupiter and Mars close together on March 21, 2020. He wrote: “We need to savor fleeting moments like this. Next year this view will be devoid of planets.” Thank you, Dr Ski!

View more moon and planet photos at EarthSky Community Photos.

In the coming week, we’ll be asking for your #SocialDistanceSelfies. Submit to EarthSky here. Thank you!

Enjoying the sky is something we all can do from a social distance. Share your photos at EarthSky Community Photos (submit here), or at EarthSky Facebook. Over this past week, we’ve been focused on the moon passing four planets before sunup. Thanks to all who posted!

Mars and Jupiter. Jupiter's moons can be seen.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Hazarry Ali Ahmad in Kampong Keriam, Brunei Darussalam, caught Jupiter and Mars on March 21, 2020. He wrote: “The largest planet Jupiter with its four Jovian moons and the red planet Mars visibly fit in the same FOV of a small telescope (about 0.7° separation) in a spectacular planetary pairing this morning from Brunei Darussalam.” Thank you, Hazarry!

Planets and moon.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Peter Lowenstein in Mutare, Zimbabwe, caught the Jupiter-Mars conjunction on March 20, 2020 (day of the equinox), with Saturn, the moon and Mercury below. Juiter and Mars are toward the top of the photo; notice how bright Jupiter is, and how red Mars is. Thank you, Peter!

Moon and 4 planets before sunup, all labeled.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Pradnya Gharpure in Nagpur, India, wrote on March 20, 2020: “Finally got the glimpse of Mercury! Though Mercury’s faint, the 4 planets made a marvellous display today morning!” Congratulations on seeing Mercury, Pradnya!

Close-up of a portion of the waning crescent moon.

Share your moon and planet photos with EarthSky Facebook
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Peter Benedict Tubalinal in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, wrote on March 20, 2020: “Absolutely fantastic! Lunar features are always best seen when the moon is on crescent phase, such as the waning crescent which was imaged this morning using just a smartphone on a telescope.”

Planets and moon in a hazy sky, with a corona around the moon.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Dr Ski in Valencia, Philippines, wrote on March 19, 2020: “What a cool sight this morning.” Thanks, Dr Ski!

Moon and planets.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Peter Lowenstein in Mutare, Zimbabwe, caught the moon and 3 planets on March 19, 2020. He wrote: “Absence of cloud early Thursday morning provided a clear view of the waning moon and the 3 planets Saturn, Jupiter and Mars in a lilac predawn sky.” Jupiter is the brighter of the 2 planets at the top of the photo; Mars is the reddish planet right next to Jupiter. Saturn is the planet nearest the moon in this photo. Thanks, Peter.

Planets and moon in dawn sky, over water with reflection of moon in water.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | James Younger in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, caught the moon and planets on March 18, 2020. Thank you, James.

Planets and moon, over a Saguaro cactus.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Eliot Herman in Tucson, Arizona, caught the planets and moon on March 18, 2020. Thank you, Eliot.

Moon and planets over a body of water with a symmetrical bare tree in the foreground, in a beautiful twilight sky.

Don Gargano wrote on March 18, 2020: “The planets Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, from Great Island Common, New Castle, New Hampshire.” Thanks, Don!

Moon and planets over a house with silhouetted chimney and weathervane.

Jean-Baptiste Feldmann of Cielmania wrote on March 18: “Nice heavenly date this morning before sunrise between 3 planets and the old moon croissant.” Thank you, Jean-Baptiste!

Over-exposed moon with bright Jupiter and fainter Mars above it.

The image above is from the morning of March 18. Jupiter is the bright starlike object on the left, Mars is to the right of Jupiter, and the moon is below. You’ll find these objects in the eastern predawn sky this week. Note that the moon is over-exposed in this photo to bring Mars into easier view; the moon is really a waning crescent. This photo is from Tom and Jane Wildoner’s Dark Side Observatory. Read more from Tom about how he captured it.

Crescent moon, Mars, Saturn in a hazy sky.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | George Preoteasa in Queens, New York, wrote on March 18: “It was rather hazy, so I could see only Jupiter and Mars. Saturn was not visible to the unaided eye. But the moon halo made up for it.” Thank you, George!

Planets, moon, distant plane with tiny red and green lights.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Richard Swieca in Dollard des Ormeaux, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, wrote on March 18: “Moon, Jupiter, Mars with early morning plane taking off from nearby Montreal Trudeau Airport.” Thank you, Richard!

Moon and planets above buildings with teapot asterism outlined.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Kannan A wrote on March 17, 2020: “Planets galore this morning in Singapore. Photo was taken this morning an hour before sunrise.” Thank you, Kannan A!

Moon and 4 planets above coconut trees.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Dr Ski wrote on March 17, 2020: “I had to venture into the Coconut ‘Planetation’ to capture Mercury in astronomical twilight.”

Saturn, Jupiter, Mars and the moon, plus constellation Scorpius, over glittering nighttime skyline of New York City.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Alexander Krivenyshev of Guttenberg, New Jersey – publisher of the website WorldTimeZone.com – captured this photo on the morning of March 16, 2020. He wrote: “Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, last quarter Moon and Antares (Scorpius) over Manhattan, New York (there is always time for the social gatherings with the real stars during clear sky conditions over NYC …)” Thank you, Alexander!

Moon and 4 planets above coconut trees.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Dr Ski wrote on March 17, 2020: “I had to venture into the Coconut ‘Planetation’ to capture Mercury in astronomical twilight.”

Night scene with moon and bright planets.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the moon and the constellation Scorpius on March 16, 2020 from Dennis Schoenfelder in Alamosa, Colorado.

Saturn, Jupiter, Mars near each other in the sky with inset showing magified Jupiter with moons.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Dr Ski in Valencia, Philippines, caught this shot of Jupiter and Mars on March 16, 2020, just 4 days before their coming conjuncton. He wrote: “Jupiter and Mars now fit in the same 3° FOV of my low-power eyepiece.” Thank you, Dr Ski!

Last quarter moon, with some prominent lunar features annotated.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Joel Weatherly in Edmonton, Aberta, Canada, wrote on March 16: “I have been enjoying selenography lately, so here is this morning’s third quarter moon with labels for ten features I found interesting. This image was captured about four hours after the moon exactly reached its third quarter phase.” Thank you, Joel!

A nearly last quarter moon. The terminator line - or line between light and dark on the moon - is very slightly convex.

View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Jenney Disimon in Sabah, N. Borneo, caught the moon on March 16, 2020, too, when it was nearly – but not quite – at the last quarter phase. Thank you, Jenney!

Last quarter moon in a blue sky.

View on Facebook. | April Singer wrote on March 16, 2020: “The waning moon as it was getting low in the sky Sunday (yesterday) morning from Santa Clara Pueblo, northern New Mexico, USA. Stay safe everyone, be kind.” Thank you, April.

Bottom line: Photos from the EarthSky community of the waning moon and planets in the east before sunup, around the March 2020 equinox.

Submit your photo to EarthSky Community Photos

Deborah Byrd