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Starwatch – March 2018

9 March 2018 Astronomy


Hello! I’m Karl Hricko for the United Astronomy Clubs of NJ and the National Space Society bringing you the March Astronomy Update for the WNTI listening area.

 

The first day of spring has been celebrated by various cultures throughout history.  Natural and artificial features were used to mark the position of the Sun.   This served as a calendar for planting of crops and practice of rituals.  These calendar markers include Stonehenge, the Mayan and Egyptian pyramids, and special structures in chichen Itza, Pueblo Cliff dwellings, and Jaipur in India.  There is also a Native American rock calendar in New Jersey!  Located at High Point State Park are 3 stones that align with the Sun to mark the beginning of our seasons.

 

We don’t have to worry about this type of alignment anymore.  We just have to align our eyes to a calendar on the wall, or a smartphone in our hand.

Some of these ancient markers also aligned with the visible planets.  We can align our eyes to see Mercury and Venus low on the horizon, close together at sunset.

Mercury is to the right of Venus.  They’ll move from Aquarius to Pisces.

At dawn, Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter are lined up in the sky looking south.  Saturn is in Sagittarius, while Mars moves from Ophiuchus to Sagittarius. Jupiter is in Libra.

 

So however you may mark it, look to the first day of spring at 12:15p.m.on the 20th, and let your eyeballs align with the visible planets this month.

 

Until our next Astronomy Update –                                                                                                               Don’t forget to check out …

What’s up in the night sky!


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