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What’s up in the sky?: Week of 03/08-03/14

Waxing Gibbous Moon over Staunton
Waxing Gibbous Moon over Staunton(Tony Alverson)
Published: Mar. 7, 2021 at 10:36 PM EST
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(WHSV) - Some big changes with sunrise and sunset this week as we “spring forward” March 14th. There are also some other interesting sights you can see before sunrise this week.

ISS Viewing (Most Viewable)

Date and TimeTime VisibleMaximum Height (Degrees above the horizon)Direction it AppearsDirection it Disappears
Thu March 11, 6:15 am5 min69°appears above NWdisappears above ESE
Mon March 8, 5:59 am6 min40°appears above NWdisappears above ESE

Important Event: Daylight Saving begins Sunday March 14th at 2:00 AM. On March 14th, we will spring forward, and we lose an hour of sleep.

We will lose an hour of sleep as we spring forward overnight March 13-14
We will lose an hour of sleep as we spring forward overnight March 13-14(WHSV)

Sunrise will be at 7:27 am in Harrisonburg on March 14th and sunset will be at 7:21 pm. This will be the latest the sun has set since September 16th of last year.

Interesting Fact: The Spring Equinox is on Saturday March 20th; this is when spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere. This is the first day the sun angles more in the Northern Hemisphere than the Southern Hemisphere. This is when we begin to see higher latitude locations in the Northern Hemisphere have more daylight than lower latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere.

Harrisonburg will have approximately equal daylight and nighttime March 16-17.
Harrisonburg will have approximately equal daylight and nighttime March 16-17.(WHSV)

Moon Phases & Next Full Moon:

Moon PhaseDate and Time
New MoonMarch 13th, 5:21 am
First Quarter MoonMarch 21st, 10:40 am
Full MoonMarch 28th, 2:48 pm
Third Quarter MoonApril 4th, 6:02 am

The next full moon is called many things. The Worm Moon, named for the fact that the ground begins to thaw, and earthworms reappear. The Crow Moon because the cawing of crows signals the end of winter. The Sap Moon noted for the time to tap maple trees to create syrup and the Lenten Moon because it occurs around the time of Christian Lent.

Interesting Events:

On March 9th, in the southeastern sky during pre-dawn hours, the old crescent moon will be positioned less than a fist’s diameter of Saturn. Once the sky begins to brighten, Jupiter and Mercury will rise forming a line to the lower left of Saturn. This will happen at approximately 5:47 am in our area.

Saturn will be aligned up with Saturn during the pre-down hours Tuesday.
Saturn will be aligned up with Saturn during the pre-down hours Tuesday.(Stellarium)

On March 10th, the crescent moon will then sit below and between Jupiter and Saturn. Mercury will then rise as the moon rises. This will also be during the pre-dawn hours in the southeastern sky at approximately 5:52 am.

The moon will be in the sky just below Jupiter and Saturn during the pre-dawn hours Wednesday...
The moon will be in the sky just below Jupiter and Saturn during the pre-dawn hours Wednesday morning.(Stellarium)

On March 11th, the old crescent moon will have completed its passages of Mercury, Jupiter, and Saturn. The moon will be a palm’s width below Mercury with Jupiter and Saturn forming a line to the upper right of Mercury. This will happen in the southeastern sky at approximately 6:29 am.

The moon will be below Mercury very close to sunrise Thursday morning.
The moon will be below Mercury very close to sunrise Thursday morning.(Stellarium)

On March 14th, sunset will occur one hour and one minute later in the day because of Daylight Savings Time. This means stargazers will have to wait an extra hour every day starting March 14th for the best stargazing experience.

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