Weekly stargazing tips 3.29.05

Three large lunar craters show up in this image from Ranger 9,

March 29 Head of Hercules
The star that represents the head of Hercules rises below his
body. It’s called Rasalgethi, and it actually consists of three
individual stars. Look for it clearing the northeastern horizon in
late evening.
March 29 Head of Hercules

The star that represents the head of Hercules rises below his body. It’s called Rasalgethi, and it actually consists of three individual stars. Look for it clearing the northeastern horizon in late evening.

March 30 Gegenschein

If you can get far away from city lights the next few nights, look high overhead before moonrise for the Gegenschein, a round, faint, hazy patch of light. It’s caused by sunlight reflecting off of tiny grains of dust scattered between the planets of our solar system.

March 31 Sinking Ship

Argo, the ship of Jason and the Argonauts, sails across the south this evening. It originally was a single constellation, but it was so big that astronomers broke it into four smaller ones: Carina, the keel; Vela, the sail; Puppis, the poop deck; and Pyxis, the compass.

April 1 Jupiter

at Opposition

The planet Jupiter is putting in its best appearance of the year. It rises at sunset, remains in the sky all night, and shines brightest for the year. It looks like a brilliant star low in the east in early evening and sailing high across the south later on.

April 2 Bookend Planets

Two easy-to-find planets serve as bookends in the early morning sky the next couple of days. Brilliant Jupiter is low in the southwest before dawn. Fainter Mars is in the southeast. Tomorrow, Mars stands to the left of the crescent Moon.

April 3 Jupiter

Shines Bright

The planet Jupiter stands opposite the Sun in our sky this week, so it rises at sunset and remains in the sky all night. Look for it low in the east in early evening. It looks like a brilliant star that outshines all the other planets and stars in the night sky.

April 4 Myriad Stars

Myriad colorful stars adorn the late-evening sky. Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, twinkles fiercely in the west-southwest. Regulus, the heart of Leo, the lion, stands high overhead. And Arcturus, in Bootes, the herdsman, is climbing in the east.

– By the University of Texas McDonald Observatory Online

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