March 2019: Spot the Winter Hexagon

March 1, 2019 - Comment

The Sky Tour astronomy podcast for March 2019 takes you on a guided tour of the predawn sky after which helps you discover the dazzling stars that make the massive Winter Hexagon — together with Sirius, the Canine Star. This episode is sponsored by Celestron, producer of high-quality telescopes and an trade chief in growing


The Sky Tour astronomy podcast for March 2019 takes you on a guided tour of the predawn sky after which helps you discover the dazzling stars that make the massive Winter Hexagon — together with Sirius, the Canine Star.

Celestron logoThis episode is sponsored by Celestron, producer of high-quality telescopes and an trade chief in growing thrilling optical merchandise with revolutionary applied sciences.

LISTEN HERE:

Daylight time around the world

A lot of the world’s inhabitants would not swap backwards and forwards to daylight-saving time.
J. Kelly Beatty / Sky & Telescope

This month we’ll “clock” your curiosity within the swap to Daylight Time, cycle by way of the Moon’s phases, take a look at three worlds at daybreak, and concentrate on sensible Sirius, the anchor star of the beautiful Winter Hexagon. Learn on!

March options two space-time occasions which have virtually nothing to do with the starry sky itself however which undoubtedly have an effect on our enjoyment of it.

First, on March 20th at 5:58 p.m. Jap Daylight Time, Earth reaches one of many two equinox factors in its year-long orbit. However there’s extra to it than simply “the start of northern spring, astronomically talking.” Equinox comes from the Latin phrase aequinoctium, which means “equal nights.” On this date, days and nights all over the place are each 12 hours lengthy. And on the equinox, the Solar rises due east and units due west irrespective of the place you’re.

Second, March is when billions of clocks “spring ahead” in a shift to Daylight Financial savings time. However the date for all that time-shifting varies: It comes on March 10th within the U.S. and Canada however three weeks later, the 31st, throughout Europe — and 4 weeks later in components of Mexico. And since autumn is approaching Down Beneath, on April seventh Australians will swap again to plain time. If this sounds complicated, nicely, it’s! And for mid-northern skywatchers, daylight time means the sky would not get darkish till nicely into the night hours, particularly in midsummer. For extra on this entire topic, take a look at my “Bah, Humbug” weblog.

Morning view in early March 2019

Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter (out of view at higher proper) dominate the japanese sky earlier than daybreak in March 2019. A crescent Moon provides an additional visible deal with early within the month.
Sky & Telescope

Daylight time apart, there’s lots to see each earlier than the Solar rises and after it units. Earlier than daybreak, we’ll take a look at the diagonal lineup of Venus, Saturn, and Jupiter that is now dominating the japanese sky. Because the illustration at proper reveals, the waning crescent Moon joins them within the first days of March. (Do you know there is a spacecraft referred to as Juno that is orbiting Jupiter proper now?)

Switching to the night sky, shortly after sundown we discover Mars nicely up within the southwest. And in case you’re fast to get outdoors in early March, search for Mercury simply above the western horizon about 30 or 45 minutes after the Solar goes down.

However what actually grabs your consideration is the unbelievable array of fantastically shiny stars awaiting you within the southern half of the sky starting about an hour after sundown. Hearken to this month’s Sky Tour astronomy podcast, and you will get to know every of them by title. Collectively they kind a large six-sided sample within the sky referred to as the Winter Hexagon. And our podcast explores the myths and mythology of Sirius, the night time sky’s brightest star.

To search out out the place and when to identify all these sky sights, play or obtain this month’s episode.



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