Last week I briefly told you about the Equinox Super Worm Moon happening this month. This is just one of several celestial events you can see over the next few weeks.
Equinox Super Worm Moon
In case you missed it, here’s a brief recap.
The Equinox Super Worm Moon will rise on the same date as the first day of spring, March 20, 2019. The moon will become full at 9:42 PM EDT, almost 4 hours after the equinox has occurred. At the same time, the moon will be at its perigee — shortest distance to earth in its orbit. This will make the moon appear bigger and brighter than normal deeming it “Super.”
This month’s moon is also called the “Worm Moon.” Based on folklore, the name was given to this month’s moon because it’s the time of year when the ground would begin to soften and earthworms would start to emerge from the soil.
This super moon is the third of three to happen this year and the last for 2019. The previous two super moons happened in January and February. You may remember the Super Blood Wolf Moon on January 21. That super moon coincided with a lunar eclipse. Then there was the super moon on February 19 called the Super Snow Moon. Snow referenced the name of the moon for that month.
To be quite honest, I’ve never heard of this, but it sounds really cool.
On March 21 and for a few weeks afterward, you may notice this unique phenomenon about an hour or so after sunset. A pyramid-shaped beam of light may appear along the horizon. It’s often mistaken for lights coming from a city off in the distance, but it’s not. This eerie looking light is caused by sunlight reflecting off space dust located within the solar system.
The best way to see the zodiac light would be to find a dark place out in the country away from city lights. An open field far from buildings or trees would be ideal for a better view.
Saturn, Moon, and Jupiter
From March 26 through the 29, Saturn, Jupiter and the moon will share the sky. Over the course of these days during the pre-dawn/dawn hours, the waning crescent moon will glide by Jupiter then Saturn. On the 26th, the moon will be located to the upper left of both planets. Then on the 27th and 28th, Saturn and Jupiter will flank the moon on either side from lower left to top right. Finally, on the 29th, the moon will appear to the bottom right of both planets.
Mars at nightfall; Venus at dawn
Finally, the month rounds out with two more planets dazzling the sky - one at nightfall and one before dawn.
The red planet Mars will shine in the western sky around sunset. What may appear as a red star will hang in close proximity to the Pleiades Cluster - a tiny, misty dipper-shaped cluster of stars also known as the Seven Sisters. Ironically, if you were to look at the cluster you may only see six stars.
Then, roughly an hour before sunrise you may see the planet Venus paired with the waning crescent moon along with the planet Jupiter. Venus will shine bright like a star, but will not twinkle. This bright planet can be easily spotted in the southeastern pre-dawn sky. You can’t miss it as it’s the 3rd brightest celestial object in the sky behind the sun and the moon.
As stated above, Saturn will also share the morning sky but may be too difficult to see once the light of the sun appears.
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