Welcome to this issue of
Qué tal in the Current Skies

Here you will find useful observing information about the visible planets, our Moon and other moons, the Sun, as well as various 'things' celestial. Among these web pages you will find monthly star maps for either the northern or southern hemisphere that are suitable for printout. Animated images are utilized to illustrate celestial motions such as orbital motions of the planets, and other solar orbiting objects, or apparent and real motions along the ecliptic and the local horizon. Regular features include plotting the monthly positions of the visible planets using heliocentric coordinates; following moon phases; conjunctions; the sun's apparent motion and the Earth's real motion along the ecliptic.
Scroll down for more web site information, resources, and a link to the previous month issue.

Volume 24          Issue 3
March 2018
   Month at a Glance:
This month the two inner planets, Mercury and Venus, start becoming visible as evening planets. Mercury will be at about its best for viewing this month for northern hemisphere observers. Both will have conjunctions with each other as well as with the Moon. The other 3 visible outer planets, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are spread across the east to southern horizons in the hours before the Sun rises. Saturn is nestled witin the glow of the Milky Way and shoul dmake for some great viewing and pictures.
Click here for a printable month at a glance calendar.

This graphic shows (barely!) the very thin 1.5-day young waxing crescent Moon near the two inner planets, Venus and Mercury. Two outer planets are also shown but their apparent magnitudes are too dim for other then imaging or large telescopes.

Mercury opens this month as it reappears in the evening skies and joins Venus as both move eastward away from the setting Sun.


Venus also reappears in the evening skies and has several interesting conjunctions, two with Mercury, and one with Uranus.
Mars rises several hours before the Sun rises and is easily seen over the southeastern horizon at sunrise.
Dwarf Planet Ceres rises in mid-afternoon and is high above the southern horizon in the the area of Cancer the Crab. With an apparent magnitude between 6 and 7 Ceres is best viewd from time exposure pictures or wit a large telescope.
Jupiter rises several hours before the Sun rises and is easily seen over the southeastern horizon at sunrise. Jupiter begins its retrograde motion on the 9th amongst the stars of Libra the Scales.
Saturn rises a couple of hours before the Sun and is visible above the southeast horizon at sunrise within the stars of Sagittarius the Archer.

Star Maps and More
Visit bobs-spaces for regular updates on what is up.
Contact Me

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March Sky Calendar
01. Almost Full Moon Near Regulus
02. Full Moon
03. Mars and Jupiter at Heliocentric Conjunction
04. Waning Gibbous Moon Near Spica
07. Waning Gibbous Moon Near Jupiter
09. Last Quarter Moon
      Jupiter Begins Retrograde Motion
10. Waning Crescent Moon Near Mars and Saturn
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11. Begin USA Daylight Saving Time
      Moon at Apogee 404,678 km
12. Sun Does Enter the Astronomical Sign of Pisces
14. Moon at Descending Node
15. Mercury at East Elongation
17. New Moon
18. Waxing Crescent Moon Near Venus
20. March Equinox
      The Sun Does Not Enter the Astrological Sign of Aries

21. Waxing Crescent Moon Near the Pleiades
22. Waxing Crescent Moon Near Aldebaran
24. First Quarter Moon
      Mars at West Quadrature
26. Moon at Perigee - 369,106 km
27. Moon at Ascending Node
29. Saturn at West Quadrature
31. A Blue Full Moon Near Spica
Above the Solar System at 10 day Intervals

Heliocentric Coordinaes

Name March 07 March 17 March 27
Mercury 055o 55' 117o 57' 169o 05'
Venus 018o 54' 034o 52' 050o 53'
Earth 166o 21' 176o 20' 186o 16'
Mars 224o 49' 229o 48' 234o 52'
Ceres 138o 40' 141o 10' 143o 54'
Jupiter 223o 31' 224o 17' 225o 03'
Saturn 272o 28' 272o 46' 273o 04'
Plot planet positions using polar graph paper that you can download from this web site - or at that web site create your own.

Above the Terrestrial Planets at 10 day Intervals

March 14 - Moon at Descending Node

This Spot Purposely Left Blank


March 27 - Moon at Ascending Node
Local Time CST (UT-6)


Spot the ISS

Some Astronomy Web Links


    Click here.

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