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    Articles > March 2009
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Stargazing Basics

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Difficult astronomical concepts are explained clearly, there's an excellent glossary and the text is broken up with useful pictures and information boxes. -- BBC Sky at Night
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Observing the Night Sky with Binoculars

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Features informative anecdotes about the stars and constellations, guides the beginning stargazer in locating and identifying the brightest stars in each constellation, colorful stars, double or multiple stars, star clusters and asterisms, nebulae, galaxies, variable stars, and so much more. -- Midwest Book Review
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  Sky Calendar -- March 2009
2 Mercury 0.59° from Mars at 0h UT (22° from Sun, morning sky). Mags -0.1 and +1.2. Look just above the eastern horizon.
3 Moon near the Pleiades at 8h UT (evening sky).
Pleiades (star cluster) (Wikipedia)
4 First Quarter Moon at 7:46 UT.
7 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 15h UT (367,017 km; 32.6').
8 Moon near Beehive cluster (M44) at 1h UT.
8 Saturn at opposition (opposite the Sun) at 20h UT. Visible all night long, the ringed planet is at its brightest (mag. +0.5) and closest (disk diameter 19.9") all year. Saturn's rings are near edge-on but still appear magnificent even in a small telescope.
Opposition (Wikipedia)
9 Moon near Regulus at 15h UT (evening sky).
10 Moon near Saturn at 22h UT (midnight sky).
11 Full Moon at 2:38 UT. The full Moon of March is called the Sap Moon, Crow Moon or Lenten Moon.
Full Moon Names (Wikipedia)
17 Moon very near Antares at 4h UT (morning sky). Occultation visible from northeast South America, south and east Africa.
Occultation of Antares (IOTA)
18 Last Quarter Moon at 17:47 UT.
19 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 13h UT (distance 404,299 km; angular size 29.6').
20 Spring or vernal equinox at 11:45 UT. The time when the Sun reaches the point along the ecliptic where it crosses into the northern celestial hemisphere marking the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere.
Vernal Equinox (Wikipedia)
22 Moon near Jupiter at 21h UT (45° from Sun, morning sky).
24 Moon near Mars at 10h UT (27° from Sun, morning sky).
26 New Moon at 16:06 UT. Start of lunation 1067.
Lunation Number (Wikipedia)
27 Venus at inferior conjunction with the Sun at 17h UT. The brightest planet passes into the morning sky.
Superior & Inferior Conjunctions (Wikipedia)
30 Moon near the Pleiades at 14h UT (evening sky).
31 Mercury at superior conjunction with the Sun at 3h UT. The planet passes into the evening sky.
Superior & Inferior Conjunctions (Wikipedia)
All times Universal Time (UT). USA Eastern Summer Time = UT - 4 hours.

Clear skies till next month!

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