Weekly Stargazing Tips

Provided by StarDate.org. Unless otherwise specified, viewing times are local time regardless of time zone, and are good for the entire Lower 48 states (and, generally, for Alaska and Hawaii).

March 2: Moon and Jupiter

Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system, is putting in a big appearance tonight. It stands close to the upper left of the Moon at nightfall, and looks like a brilliant star.

March 3: Moon and Regulus

The almost-full Moon glides past the heart of Leo, the lion, tonight. Regulus huddles close to the lower left of the Moon at nightfall. The planet Jupiter, which far outshines Regulus, stands well above them.

March 4: Early Summer

Summer is months away, but the season’s best-known star pattern is already peeking into view in the pre-dawn sky. The Summer Triangle, which is marked by the stars Vega, Deneb, and Altair, stands well up in the east at first light.

March 5: Full Moon

The Moon is full today at 12:05 p.m. CDT, when it lines up opposite the Sun in our sky. The full Moon of March is known as the Sap Moon, Worm Moon, or Lenten Moon.

March 6: Berenice’s Hair

Queen Berenice spreads her tresses across the eastern sky this evening. They form a tight spray of faint stars known as Coma Berenices. The constellation is low in the east at nightfall, far to the left of the Moon.

March 7: Arcturus

Arcturus, the brightest star of Bootes, the herdsman, stands far to the left of the Moon as they climb skyward in mid-evening. It is one of the brightest stars in the entire night sky, so you shouldn’t have any trouble spotting it.

March 9: On the Frontier

Today, the North Star is Polaris. Over thousands of years, though, Earth’s axis wobbles, so it points at different stars. Five millennia ago, it pointed at Thuban in Draco, the dragon, so it was the North Star.