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What's Visible Now?

Sky Chart:

March 2006 Sky Chart

The Sun

The Sun doesn't get mentioned very often on here but this month there is another of those spectacular events, namely a total solar eclipse. The clipse will take place on 29th March, and sadly will not be visible from the UK. The best spots to view the eclipse are Turkey, and Northern Africa. If you do plan to travel to observe the eclipse remember to observe the proper precautions and avoid looking directly at the Sun until it is complete eclipse (if not at all), and then be fully aware of when totality will end and look away in plenty of time.


Mercury is notoriously difficult to observe due to its proximity to the Sun, but late February and early March off a good opportunity to get a glimpse of the planet. Mercury will be relatively straightforward to find soon after sunset on the first of March, as the crescent moon will lie just above its location.


Venus is strightforward to find in the dawn skies throughout March, look for the bright "morning star".


Mars can be found in Taurus at the start of March, but will head towards Gemini via the very top of Orion. Look for Mars near the first quarter moon on March 6. The Earth is moving away from Mars at present, so it is getting gradually smaller and fainter.


Jupiter is currently rising quite late in the evening, from the southwest, and sets at around 3am. It is currently situated in Libra. The Red spot can be observed on March 3, 5, 8, 10, 15, 17, 20, 22, 24, 27, and 29.


Saturn is currently located in Cancer, and is right next to M44, the Beehive cluster, which is in itself a wonderful sight itself through binoculars.

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Last updated: 19/02/2006

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