Space Science at UTK

Cool Things in the Sky

Cool Things

For the month of March 2018

The Vernal equinox, equal hours of day and night will occur on the 20th at 12:15 PM and marks the beginning of spring.

This month is probably the best viewing of Mercury for the year. It should be around 10-12 degrees above the Western horizon by the 17th I t will be above Venus and on the 18th, the two will be joined by an extremely thin waxing crescent moon. This might be tough.

Venus is the brightest planet all month in the West at sunset.

Jupiter rises around midnite and is high in the South by sunrise.

Mars rises about 3 AM followed by Saturn about 45 minutes later. A waning crescent moon sits between Mars and Saturn on the morning of the 10th.

The moon phases for this month are full on the 1st, last quarter on the 9th, new on the 17th, first quarter on the 24th and full again on the 31st. There are two full moons this month. The second full moon in a calendar month is called a “Blue Moon”. We had another Blue Moon in January. Now that’s rare. The last time this happened was 1999 and the next time will be 2037.