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The Bresser Sky Guide is here: The highlights in March 2020

Beautiful Venus in the evening and the trio of planets in the morning, the day of astronomy, the equinox and the beginning of summer time: March is very busy.

Even though meteorologists are already talking about spring: the calendrical beginning of spring is on March 20th. At exactly 4:50 in the morning the sun crosses the equator and returns to the northern hemisphere. On this day is the equinox. After that the nights become shorter again, because the sun rises a few minutes earlier and sets a little later every day.

Which stars, planets and celestial objects you can observe on the March nights, where and when you can find them exactly, which optical aids are recommended, you can find out in detail in our Sky Guide.

The first bright object in the evening sky is Venus. Our inner neighbour planet appears in the southwest shortly after sunset. Since Venus now reaches its greatest distance from the sun as seen from Earth in March, you can observe the evening star until deep into the night: Until about 23:00, or from 29 March until midnight, Venus outshines all other celestial objects as it moves across the horizon. On its way it passes Uranus at about 20:00 o'clock at the beginning of the month, but you need optimal conditions to spot the gas giant: clear sky, absolute darkness, at least a good pair of binoculars with a tripod or better still a telescope.

Our observation tip for March 9

Venus is located just a finger's breadth away to the right above Uranus. It is getting more and more difficult to see Uranus in the night sky, because it is going down earlier and earlier every evening and will not be visible for the second half of the month.

If Venus has set shortly after 23:00 (from 29 March shortly after midnight), you have the rest of the night to devote yourself to the stars, for example the Pleiades. During the month, Venus moves towards the Seven Sisters, and by the end of March it is only a few fingers' breadth away. Around midnight the spring images already dominate the night sky. Above all the Big Dipper high at the zenith and below it the spring triangle of Arcturus in the Bear Keeper, Spica in Virgo and Regulus in Leo.

Our observation tip for 28 March

Venus and the Pleiades are joined by the slender crescent moon. In the late evening it stands only three finger breadths below Venus, which in turn has arrived only three finger breadths below the star cluster of the Pleiades.

Only at dawn planets appear again in the eastern sky - but then with full force: Mars, Jupiter and Saturn rise in quick succession. The trio is engaged in a real race: At the beginning of March, Mars is the first planet to peer over the horizon in the morning, around 4:00 a.m. It is followed by Jupiter at 4:45 a.m. Shortly after six o'clock, a few finger breadths to the left under Jupiter's ringed planet Saturn finally appears. On the morning of 18 and 19 March the view is particularly beautiful, as the slender crescent moon joins the trio of planets.

28 March: Day of Astronomy

On March 28th the Astronomy Day is celebrated nationwide. The motto this year is appropriately: Venus, Moon and the seven bright sisters.
Planetariums and observatories all over Germany open their doors on this day - also the star friends Borken: Between 20.00 o'clock and 0:00 o'clock the association invites to the public observation evening at the Josef Bresser observatory in Borken-Hoxfeld. Besides the observatory telescope, several other telescopes are available for observation.

Here you can find observatories and planetariums in your area:

Don't forget: On the night of March 28th, the clocks will also be set to daylight savings time: from 2:00 to 3:00.

To the Sky Guide March 2020