Astronomy events to look in March 2019

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Representational Image
Representational Image

New Delhi : March of the year marks the change of seasons. This 2019, the month will bring great opportunities to see some wintertime constellations and the last supermoon of 2019. If you are avid sky watchers then note down the three astronomy events to look forward in March.

Moon to glide by Mars, the Pleiades star cluster: March 10-12

Stargazers in evening will be treated to a close encounter in the western sky as the crescent moon passes by Mars and the Pleiades star cluster. Mars has been gradually growing dimmer in the night sky since it reached opposition in July, but it will be easy to spot on the evenings of March 10 and March 11 as the crescent moon passes nearby.

The best part is that no telescope is required to see the close encounter as both the moon and Mars are easily visible to the naked eye.

On the evening of March 12, the moon will then pass near the Pleiades star cluster, a grouping of stars near the famed constellation Orion. 

This will be one of the last opportunities for those in the Northern Hemisphere to spot the Pleiades high in the night sky as the star cluster is not visible in the summer months.

Supermoon to follow Vernal Equinox: March 20

Winter will come to a close on March 20 just hours before the last supermoon of 2019.

The vernal equinox marks the official start to spring across the Northern Hemisphere with the changing of the season officially taking place at 5:58 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, March 20, 2019. March’s full moon is also known as the Full Worm Moon. Other names for March’s full moon include the Sap Moon, the Crow Moon, the Sugar Moon and the Lenten Moon.

Zodiacal light glow: Mid-march

An eerie glow will appear in the evening sky in mid- to late March as the evenings surrounding the equinox bring a unique opportunity to see the zodiacal light. The light should be visible in dark areas in the weeks leading up to and immediately following the equinox. 

To best see the zodiacal light, head to a dark area where there is little light pollution. Bright city lights can easily wash out the dim glow in the evening sky.

Sky watchers in the Southern Hemisphere will have their opportunity to see the zodiacal light before dawn, rather than after sunset in the Northern Hemisphere.