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#astronomy March: Discover the Winter Hexagon – Sky & Telescope

March 1, 2021 - Comment

As you’ll study on this month’s Sky Tour podcast, this can be a month of transition in additional methods than one. First, on March 14th, we leap to sunlight time in just about the entire U.S. and Canada (two weeks later in Europe, three in Mexico). March can also be when Earth reaches one of


As you’ll study on this month’s Sky Tour podcast, this can be a month of transition in additional methods than one. First, on March 14th, we leap to sunlight time in just about the entire U.S. and Canada (two weeks later in Europe, three in Mexico).

March can also be when Earth reaches one of many two equinox factors in its year-long orbit. This month it falls on the 20th at 5:37 a.m. Japanese Daylight Time. Though this equinox indicators the start of northern spring, there’s extra to it than simply that. Equinox comes from the Latin phrase aequinoctium — and to study what meaning, be sure you obtain this month’s Sky Tour.

The swap to sunlight time has one benefit for skywatchers: Throughout March, for many of us, the sky is as soon as once more darkish once we stand up every day. Exit about 30 minutes earlier than daybreak on the fifth, and you’ll spot Mercury proper subsequent to a lot brighter Jupiter very low within the east-southeast. Saturn is somewhat farther to the higher proper.

The one planet we are able to simply see after sundown is Mars. It’s greater than midway from the horizon to overhead, excessive within the southwest. Early in March you’ll discover it close to a well known star cluster — the 2 haven’t haven’t been this shut collectively since 2006, and it received’t occur once more till 2038. And which star cluster would possibly that be? Tune on this month’s Sky Tour for the reply!

Stars of the Winter Hexagon explained in the March Sky TourNorthern winter skies function an enormous six-sided asterism often known as the Winter Hexagon with Betelgeuse close to its heart.
Supply: Stellarium

The night sky is adorned with many vibrant stars, anchored by mighty Orion, the Hunter. His distinctive three-star belt is framed by the brilliant star Betelgeuse above it and Rigel beneath it. As defined on this month’s Sky Tour, you may consider Betelgeuse as the middle of an enormous six-sided polygon within the sky, identified to stargazers in all places because the Winter Hexagon. It’s proven above.

Sirius ranks because the brightest of all the celebs within the nighttime sky, and it’s ready for you because the night sky darkens. It is often known as the Canine Star partially as a result of it anchors the constellation Canis Main, the Large canine. Nevertheless it was well-known 1000’s of years in the past — not for the way it seemed within the winter sky however as an alternative for its look earlier than daybreak later within the yr. This month’s Sky Tour tells you all about this fascinating story.

Actually, our 12-minute guided tour of the nighttime sky leads you to every kind of celestial discoveries — in an attractive and attention-grabbing 12-minute podcast. So obtain or stream it now and let it immerse you in the fantastic thing about the star-filled heavens above.



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