Your guide to the night sky this month

Sky at Night Magazine - - CONTENTS -

WED­NES­DAY The waxing crescent Moon (12% lit) is 4º south-southeast of mag. +5.9 Uranus and 4.9º south of mag. +1.3 Mars this evening. The plan­ets are sep­a­rated by 2º, Uranus ly­ing to the south­west of Mars. THURS­DAY Jupiter is well­po­si­tioned for a moon and shadow tran­sit of Ganymede this evening. The shadow tran­sit starts at 22:39 UT on 2 March, end­ing at 01:10 UT on 3 March. Ganymede tran­sits be­tween 02:06 UT and 04:02 UT on the 3rd.

SATUR­DAY A lu­nar oc­cul­ta­tion of the Hyades clus­ter in Taurus be­gins at 20:00 UT. The Moon sets be­fore the oc­cul­ta­tion ends.

Outer Galilean moon Cal­listo is just off Jupiter’s north­ern limb at 22:00 UT. Io can also be seen off Jupiter’s western limb at this time. FRI­DAY 10 There’s an­other chance to catch Ganymede and its shadow tran­sit­ing Jupiter this morn­ing. The shadow tran­sit oc­curs be­tween 02:37 UT and 05:06 UT, the moon tran­sit be­tween 05:30 UT and 07:26 UT. SATUR­DAY 11 This evening Uranus sits just 11 arc­sec­onds from the mag. +8.3 star HIP 6513 in Pisces. Look from 20:00 UT, when the star will lie just 3 arc­sec­onds from Oberon, the out­er­most of Uranus’s bright moons. TUES­DAY 14 The Moon ap­pears close to mag. +2.7 Por­rima (Gamma (a) Vir­gi­nis) at 00:13 UT, with a true oc­cul­ta­tion vis­i­ble from Corn­wall and south­west Ire­land. It sets af­ter dawn; when it rises again at around 21:00 UT, it’ll be just 1.8º from mag. –2.2 Jupiter. WED­NES­DAY 15 Jupiter ap­pears to have an ex­tra moon this evening. This is be­cause it is pass­ing close to the mag. +10.8 star TYC 4964-1346-1. The planet rises around 20:30 UT. MON­DAY 20 Saturn and the wan­ing gib­bous Moon (54% lit) ap­pear 4º apart at 04:00 UT.

The north­ern hemi­sphere’s spring equinox oc­curs at 10:29 UT. WED­NES­DAY 22 Ninth­mag­ni­tude comet C/2015 V2 John­son is ap­prox­i­mately 3º from mag. +9.4 glob­u­lar clus­ter NGC 6229 in Her­cules from now un­til the end of the month.

SATUR­DAY 25 The Moon vis­i­ble in the morn­ing sky shows a favourable li­bra­tion for the western limb.

Venus reaches in­fe­rior con­junc­tion, af­ter which it will be a morn­ing planet. See this month’s Sky Guide Chal­lenge. SUN­DAY 26 The clocks go for­ward at 01:00 UT, mark­ing the start of Bri­tish Sum­mer Time (BST). BST is one hour ahead of UT. WED­NES­DAY 29 Mag. –0.3 Mer­cury is 8º north of a thin waxing crescent Moon (3% lit) at 20:30 BST (19:30 UT) in twi­light. They form a ce­les­tial triangle with Mars. Look for all three low in the west. THURS­DAY 30 Mag. +1.5 Mars is 6º north of tonight’s waxing crescent Moon (9% lit). See them to­gether with mag. –0.2 Mer­cury low in the west from 20:30 BST (19:30 UT).

THURS­DAY 9 Tonight’s waxing gib­bous Moon (92% lit) shows a favourable li­bra­tion for the eastern limb, bring­ing fea­tures such as the Mare Margi­nis and the Mare Hum­bold­tianum into view. SUN­DAY 19 It’s in­ner Galilean moon Io’s turn to tran­sit Jupiter. Watch from 23:30 UT. The moon’s shadow be­gins its pas­sage at 23:44 UT, with Io fol­low­ing suit at 00:11 UT on the 20th. The shadow tran­sit ends at 01:55 UT, while the moon leaves the disc at 02:21 UT. FRI­DAY 24 Jupiter is close to mag. +11.8 star GSC 4964-597. As dark­ness falls, star and planet are 5 ar­cmin­utes apart. By dawn twi­light on the 25th, the gap will be 2.5 ar­cmin­utes. At 03:29 UT on the 25th – the star will be 8 arc­sec­onds from Ganymede. TUES­DAY 28 Sev­enth-mag­ni­tude comet 41P/ Tuttle-Gi­a­cobiniKre­sak is lo­cated to the north of the Plough’s pan. FRI­DAY 31 This evening the waxing crescent Moon (18% lit) is close to the Hyades and Pleiades open clus­ters in Taurus.

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