March’s Moon Mania

Looking east in early evening
The Moon appears three times actual size in the scene above. (European observers: move each Moon symbol a quarter of the way toward the one for the previous date.)
Sky & Telescope diagram
Lunatics be warned! The next three nights will make for some wonderful Moon observing. While floating near the Sickle of Leo, the Lion, you'll see Luna nearly cover a planet, hover gracefully near one of the brightest stars in the sky, and plunge deep into Earth's shadow.

To start things off, be sure to head outside tonight at dusk. Just about an hour after sunset, the Moon makes a close encounter with the ringed planet. The passage will be best for observers in the Eastern and Central time zones. Our Observing Guide to Saturn should help you better enjoy this gem of the night sky.

On Friday, at about the same time, you'll be able to see Luna floating near Regulus. And best of all, on Saturday evening March 3rd, if you're well placed in eastern North America, the full Moon will rise in the midst of a lunar eclipse!

To hear more about these events and other happenings in the March skies, be sure to download Kelly Beatty's free monthly podcast. Just load it into your MP3 player, bundle up to brave the cold, grab a cup of hot chocolate, and let Kelly take you on a tour of the heavens.

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