Written by Karl Hricko on March 14, 2022
Hello! I’m Karl Hricko of United Astronomy Clubs of NJ and the National Space Society, bringing you the March Starwatch for WNTI.ORG
So what does the month of March and the planet Mars have in common? They both represent Mars, the god of war and turbulence. On the Roman calendar, it was called “Martius as a result of its turbulent weather. It was placed as the first month of their ten month calendar because their war campaigns began again after the winter season.
As for Mars the planet, because of its red appearance, it has always been associated with blood and thus war. Also, just like the month of March, it has always stimulated a perception of uncertainty and unpredictability. As such, it has always been a planet of Mystery.
In around 1893, Percival Lowell concluded there was intelligent life on Mars, due to falsely observing “artificial” canals. Since then, Mars and its namesake March are considered to be strange and peculiar – both having their origin from the god of war.
Mars can now be seen at dawn, along with Saturn and Venus looking southeast. From left to right you’ll see Saturn, then Venus, and then Mars – all in Capricornus. Jupiter comes on to the scene below Saturn in Aquarius at the end of the month. Mercury is not a good planet to view this month. So, see if you can spot the red mystery planet, in this month which comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.
Until our next Starwatch – Don’t forget to check out … What’s up in the night sky!