Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 46

OBSERVING

Sun, Moon & Planets

Jove at Best, with Followers
Brightest Jupiter rises at dusk, Mars and Saturn at midnight.
This month features two eclipses: a total
solar eclipse on March 8-9 for parts of
Indonesia (it's a deep partial for Hawai'i),
and a weak penumbral lunar eclipse on
March 23rd for western North America
and Hawai'i.
Several planets make especially fascinating appearances this month. Jupiter
rises around sunset and dominates the
sky at its biggest and brightest through
the night. Mars continues to brighten
dramatically, but this month's change
to daylight-saving time delays its rising
to approximately midnight. The interval
between the rise of Mars and that of
following Saturn shrinks from about 90
to 40 minutes in March, bringing the
two much closer together in the vicinity of Antares; all three shine highest in

the south around the start of morning
twilight. Venus rises during morning
twilight, later and later, becoming lost
from view in early April.

DUSK TO DAWN
Jupiter arrives at opposition on March
8th, beaming at magnitude -2.5 all night
long. The kingly planet blazes in or under
the hind legs of Leo, the Lion, retrograding slightly west but still trailing almost
an entire lion-length behind Regulus.
Jupiter is at its closest for the year, but
this opposition is the second most distant
in Jupiter's 12-year orbital cycle. The orb
of Jupiter nonetheless appears 44″ wide
now, providing a luxurious wealth of
detail in its cloud features in moderate-tolarge telescopes. For more about observ-

ing Jupiter, see page 50. Charts of the
positions of its Galilean satellites appear
on page 49.
Uranus is still viewable in the southwest as dusk ends in early March but by
mid-month sets too soon after the Sun
for observation. See the September 2015
issue, page 48, for a finder chart, or visit
skyandtelescope.com/urnep to learn more
about the ice giant.

LATE NIGHT TO DAWN
Mars continues to rise around midnight,
but its brightness changes rapidly, kindling from magnitude +0.3 as the month
begins to -0.5 as it ends. Mars comes
within 1 astronomical unit of Earth on
March 8th. It will be almost twice as close
when passing nearest at the end of May.

Dawn, March 5

March 11

Dawn, March 16

1 hour before sunrise

Around 8 pm

1 hour before sunrise

Mars

β
Saturn

Mars

δ

Saturn

Sickle

Antares

a

10°

Antares
Regulus

SCORPIUS

Denebola

Looking South

SCORPIUS

LEO

Jupiter

Looking East, halfway up

Looking South

These scenes are drawn for near the middle of North America (latitude 40° north, longitude 90° west); European observers should move each
Moon symbol a quarter of the way toward the one for the previous date. In the Far East, move the Moon halfway. The blue 10° scale bar is about
the width of your fist at arm's length. For clarity, the Moon is shown three times its actual apparent size.

46

March 2016 sky & telescope


http://www.skyandtelescope.com/urnep

Sky and Telescope - March 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Sky and Telescope - March 2016

Contents
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - Cover1
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - Cover2
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 1
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - Contents
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 3
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - A
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - B
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 4
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 5
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 6
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 7
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 8
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 9
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 10
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 11
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 12
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 13
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 14
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 15
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 16
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 17
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 18
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 19
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 20
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 21
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 22
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 23
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 24
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 25
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 26
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 27
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 28
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 29
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 30
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 31
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 32
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 33
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 34
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 35
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 36
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 37
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 38
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 39
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 40
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 41
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 42
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 43
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 44
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 45
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 46
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 47
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 48
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 49
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 50
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 51
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 52
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 53
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 54
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Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 71
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Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 73
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Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 75
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 76
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 77
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 78
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 79
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 80
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 81
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 82
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 83
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - 84
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - Cover3
Sky and Telescope - March 2016 - Cover4
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