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What’s up in the sky?: Week of 03/22-03/28

Published: Mar. 21, 2021 at 10:29 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 21, 2021 at 10:39 PM EDT
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(WHSV) - Spring is now in full swing with daylight saving time and the spring equinox having occurred March 20th. So what’s in store now?

Adding Daylight

Over the next week, we will gain 15 minutes of added daylight. Every day until March 26th, we will continue to gain 2.5 minutes of daylight each day. Starting March 26th, we will gain 2 minutes and 29 seconds of daylight each day. By March 28th, sunrise will be at 7:06 am with sunset at 7:35 pm. This means we will have 12 hours and 29 minutes of daylight by March 28th with 11 hours and 31 minutes of darkness.

ISS Viewing (Most Viewable)

Date and TimeTime VisibleMaximum Height (Degrees above the horizon)Direction it AppearsDirection it Disappears
Mon March 26, 8:43 pm4 min16°appears above WNWdisappears above NNE
Thu March 25, 7:59 pm3 min12°appears above NWdisappears above N

Moon Phases & Next Full Moon:

Moon PhaseDate and Time
Full MoonMarch 28th, 2:50 pm
Third Quarter MoonApril 4th, 6:04 am
New MoonApril 11th, 10:32 pm
First Quarter MoonApril 20th, 3:00 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. This will be the first of four consecutive super moons in 2021.

March's full moon will arrive a full week before Easter.
March's full moon will arrive a full week before Easter.(Stellarium)

Interesting Events:

On March 22nd, Mars’ motion will pass a similar looking figure in the sky known as the star Aldebaran in Taurus. Mars will barely outshine the star Aldebaran in the western sky during the evening hours. The pair will be separated by 7 degrees with Mars on the upper right relative to the star.

This planet and star will almost look like twins March 22nd.
This planet and star will almost look like twins March 22nd.(Stellarium)

On March 24th, the moon in its waxing gibbous face will reveal what is known as the Sinus Iridum which is also known as the Bay of Rainbows. The Bay of Rainbows has a diameter of 155 miles and contains the Mare Imbrium. The moon will also be able to display the curved Montes Jura mountain range that surrounds the bay from the top and left. The mountain range then extends into Mare Imbrium as a pair of protruding promontories named Heraclides (on the bottom) and Laplace (on the top). You can see these features with sharp eyes and easily with binoculars and backyard telescopes.

The moon will be a full enough to show a the curved mountain range known as Montes Jura....
The moon will be a full enough to show a the curved mountain range known as Montes Jura. (indicated in red)(Stellarium)

On the evening of March 26th, the moon will be bright and the planets will be absent. You can still view the twin stars of Gemini, Castor, and Pollux which will be shining high in the western sky after dusk. Pollux is actually twice as bright as Castor which will be located to its right. In a backyard telescope, Castor is a delightful multiple star system, with several fainter companions distributed around the brighter pair.

The twin stars Castor, Pollux, and Gemini
The twin stars Castor, Pollux, and Gemini(Stellarium)

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