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Nighttrek: What to See in the March Sky

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The highlight of March is a conjunction of the dazzling planet Venus with the king of planets, Jupiter, in the west after darkness falls.  Start looking on March 1 as the two planets appear to be almost touching.  Each night this month, they slowly move apart.  Notice Venus moves higher and gets brighter with each passing night.

Look high in the west above Venus and notice two red objects.  One is the planet Mars.  The other one is the star, Aldebaran, which is the eye of Taurus the Bull constellation.  To the right of Mars is the beautiful star cluster, Pleiades.  

The tiny planet Mercury and the giant planet Jupiter will appear closer to each other in the west on the March 28.  Make sure to see this event.  

Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system.  It is a gas giant with a mass larger than two and a half times that of all of the other planets combined.  As big as Jupiter is, it is less than one one-thousandth the mass of the sun.  

In addition, 12 new moons were found in orbit around Jupiter for a total of 92 moons!  Saturn is a close second with 83 moons.

The western winter sky in March is truly glorious.  There is a lot to see.  All of our favorites like Orion, Sirius (the brightest star), the Pleiades, and Procyon, a star located in Canis Minor, are among the 10 brightest stars visible from Earth.

NASA NEWS:  NASA plans to return to the Moon in 2026.  One of NASA’s goals is to grow food in the lunar sand on the Moon.  Maybe the first successful crop will be “Moon Pies?”

Tuesday, March 7, brings one of our favorite full Moons, the Full Worm Moon.  Early Native American tribes noticed that as the snow began to melt, the ground would  soften and the earthworms would reappear which in turn brought back the birds that were hunted by the Indians.  

SPACE NEWS:  The Russians plan to build a new space station that they will exclusively control.  Russia’s national space agency Roskosmos recently presented a model of the planned space station, nicknamed “ROSS.” at a Moscow exhibition.Their goal is to have it in orbit by 2030. 

When not stargazing, Neill Simmons is a Wealth Advisor with LPL Financial in Woodland Hills  If you have any astronomy or financial questions, he may be reached at (818) 936-2626 or emailed at neill.simmons @ lpl.com.


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1 week ago

Valley News Group
California State University, Northridge (CSUN) reopens its planetarium to the public, offering visitors a chance to look up at the stars and track the constellations. The "Star Shows" will be hosted on February 16 and February 23 at 6 pm and 7:15 pm.Find out more at bit.ly/3I7UrLe #CSUN #NorthValleyNew ... See MoreSee Less
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