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Looking Up: A Skywatcher’s Guide to March 2012

Looking Up: A Skywatcher’s Guide to March 2012

Here’s a quick look at what’s going on in the sky during the month of March, 2012:

March 3 — Mars at opposition. A body in space is at opposition when it sits 180° from the Sun in relationship to the Earth. This is the best time to view a planet.

March 5 — Mars nearest Earth.

March 8 — Full Moon, 4:40 a.m. The visible Moon is fully illuminated by direct sunlight. Though the Moon is only technically in this phase for a few seconds, it is considered “full” for the entire day of the event, and appears full for three days.

March 10 — Moon at perigee (its closest point to the Earth), 5:00 a.m.

March 11 — Daylight Savings Time begins. Turn clocks forward 1 hour.

March 14— Last Quarter Moon, 9:25 p.m. One-half of the Moon appears illuminated by direct sunlight while the illuminated part is decreasing.

March 20 — Vernal Equinox, 1:14 a.m. The Sun crosses the Equator.

March 22— New Moon, 10:37 a.m. The Moon is not illuminated by direct sunlight.

March 26 — Moon at apogee (its farthest point to the Earth), 2 a.m.

March 30— First Quarter Moon, 3:41 p.m. One-half of the Moon appears illuminated by direct sunlight while the illuminated part is increasing.

2 comments

1 Rose Menefee { 03.01.12 at 7:40 pm }

I love this stuff. Very interesting and gets me outside at night.

2 sandra { 02.29.12 at 9:45 am }

Very interesting. Good article. I shared on FB.

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.