Current Night Sky: March 2015

Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 am on Sunday, March 8, for most areas of the U.S. and Canada. In accordance with the adage, "spring forward, fall back," move your clocks ahead one hour; the minute after 1:59 AM begins as 3:00 AM.

There is a Total Solar Eclipse on March 20; the path of totality moves across the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans; outside of this zone, viewers in much of Europe will observe a partial solar eclipse. (See our "What's New" page.)

The March Equinox occurs at 6:45 pm EDT on March 20. This represents the instant the Sun crosses the celestial equator on its way north. By convention, it is considered the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere and of fall in the southern hemisphere.

The Moon & Planets: 
Jupiter with three of its satellites
Comet Lovejoy
Moon and Venus
Evening Planets (after sunset): 
  • Uranus, W
  • Mars, W
  • Venus, W
  • Jupiter, SE
Morning Planets (before sunrise): 
  • Saturn, S
  • Mercury, SE
  • Neptune, E
Comets: 

Comet C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy) is fading more slowly than predicted, as it climbs higher into the Northern Hemisphere sky. It spends the month in Cassiopeia, and should fade to magnitude 6 or lower – below naked eye visibility - in early March. (See chart for its position at midmonth.)

Meteors: 

There are no significant meteor showers in March.

Phases of the Moon: 
Full Moon March 5 1:05 pm EST
Last Quarter Moon March 13 1:48 pm EDT
New Moon March 20 5:36 am EDT
First Quarter Moon March 27 3:43 am EDT

Text, graphics, and animations by John Sheff. Graphics courtesy of Starry Night(©) Pro Plus 7 / Imaginova(©) Corp. Starry Night images are used with permission from Imaginova Corp. Starry Night is a registered trademark of Imaginova Corp. Star charts generated by Starry Night Pro Plus 7 © Imaginova Corp. All rights reserved. www.StarryNight.com