During March, the sky will give us a few astronomical threats to see both in the morning and night sky. First, the earth will be closest to Jupiter on March 8 being at its brightest at this time of year. A solar eclipse will take place on Tuesday 8 March and Wednesday 9 March 2016 and Mercury and Venus will be able to see in the morning sky.

The Hamilton Amateur Astronomers calendar lists for March, from its very beginning, a month full of stargazer events. Since March 1 we will be able to admire several astronomical events and this month is prime time to see Jupiter.

Images from Jupiter registered by the Hubble Space Telescope. Photo: NASA
Images from Jupiter registered by the Hubble Space Telescope. Photo: NASA

On March 8, the Earth will be closest to the planet being directly opposite to the sun in a phase called opposition. On this date, the Earth will be between the Sun and Jupiter and gazers will see Jupiter all night. The planet will rise in the east and by midnight being in the southern sky. If you look at it through a telescope, it will be at its biggest and brightest point for all of 2016.

A solar eclipse will be seen in the pacific ocean

A solar eclipse will be also visible next month. However, it could only be seen across an area of Pacific Ocean, beginning in Indonesia, and ending in the northern Pacific Ocean.

The eclipse will be total in Indonesia and the central Pacific, starting at sunrise over Sumatra and ending at sunset north of Hawaii. In most parts of India and Nepal, the sun will rise partially eclipsed. Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Papua New Guinea will witness more than 50% partial eclipse.

Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand will see about 50% partial eclipsed sun. Australia, China, Japan and Alaska will get less than 50% partial eclipse.

Other Astronomical events happening on March

If you like planet watching, March is the month to do so. Mercury can be seen in the morning sky until March 14. Venus shines brightly in the dawn sky. Mars and Saturn rise in the east around midnight. Uranus vanishes in the evening twilight sky the middle of March.

If what you like is the moon, this month is also full of events related to it. The last quarter moon will be between Mars and Saturn in the morning sky On March 1. On the 23rd, we will have this month’s full moon, which is called the Worm Moon.

Source: Times of Malta