Weekly stargazing tips 3.8

Small ridges of sand, sculpted by the Martian winds, ripple

March 8 Eternal Stars
As Earth turns, stars rise in the east and set in the west. Most
stars, that is. Some remain visible all night, every night. These
stars are called circumpolar, which means

around the pole.

March 8 Eternal Stars

As Earth turns, stars rise in the east and set in the west. Most stars, that is. Some remain visible all night, every night. These stars are called circumpolar, which means “around the pole.” In ancient Egypt, they were known as the eternal stars because they were visible every night.

March 9 New Moon

The Moon is new at 1:10am PST tomorrow. It crosses the imaginary line between Earth and Sun, so it is lost in the Sun’s glare. It should return to view as a thin crescent in the west shortly after sunset on Friday.

March 10 Mercury

in the Evening

The planet Mercury looks like a fairly bright star quite low in the west as darkness falls. It sets about 90 minutes after sunset. It’s so low in the sky that it’s hard to find, although binoculars will enhance the view.

March 11 Moon

and Mercury

The Moon and the planet Mercury stand low in the west shortly after sunset this evening. The Moon is a thin crescent, while Mercury looks like a fairly bright star just below it. They set soon after it gets dark, so you need to look quickly to find them.

March 12 More Moon

and Mercury

The planet Mercury shines due west this evening. Mercury stands farthest from the Sun for its current evening appearance. It looks like a modest star well below the Moon and a little to its right.

March 13 Beehive

The Beehive, a star cluster in the constellation Cancer, appears almost directly overhead in mid-evening this week. The cluster lies about 500 light-years from Earth. To the unaided eye it looks like a faint smudge of light, but binoculars reveal dozens of stars.

March 14 March

Milky Way

The Milky Way is relatively barren during March. It forms a thin arch that stretches from north to south in mid-evening, with a dip toward the western horizon. During March, we look away from the Milky Way’s core toward a thinly populated region of the galaxy.

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