Scruton Sky at Night – March 2024

by Graham Dodds

Constellations – Orion continues its dominance, but Leo begins to dominate in the south. Its ‘reverse’ question mark, aka ‘the Sickle’, at the base, contains the 1st magnitude star Regulus which, through a good telescope, will be seen as two pairs of stars. At 79 light years from our Sun, Regulus will lie close to a waxing gibbous Moon on the 21 March.

Planets – Jupiter remains the brightest planetary object. On 13 March Jove will be close to a waxing crescent Moon 🌒. Mercury will be at its best from 23-27 March, low in the western twilight, shining brightly at magnitude -1.2

The Moon – Our closest celestial neighbour is at a major ‘standstill’ during 2024-25, something that occurs every 18.6 years. The last quarter 🌗 is on the 3 March, with the New Moon appearing on the 10th. The first quarter 🌓 is on the 17th. On the 25th we’ll see the full 🌕

Don’t forget the long-awaited Equinox on 20 March, when the Moon is waxing and our clocks ‘spring’ forward!  Enjoy!