by Maya del Mar
The big news of the March sky is Venus making its evening reappearance, after a year of absence. In the early days of March Venus is probably too close to the sun to be visible, but as it pulls ahead of the sun, well be able to see that jewel of the heavens low in the west in the early dusk, perhaps by mid-month.
Coincidentally, Venus is springing up again during the spring seasonand in that ever-fresh spring sign of Aries. In fact, Venus may be a Solstice treat!
Venus will continue to rise in the west in the evening sky until it turns retrograde in mid-October. By the end of October, it will be out of sight.
Venus will bring the total to four of the planets which well be able to see marching across the early evening sky during the spring and summer. On the nights of March 17 through March 26, well be able to see five planets, including the moon. It will be a special treat on those nights to watch Moon ticking off the planets which mark the zodiac. Moon will trace the ecliptic as we see it move from west to east through the nights.
On the night of March 16, delicate sliver New Moon will be near Venus. On March 17 Moon passes very close to Mars. On March 19-20, Moon is super close to Saturn, and on March 22 it is very close to Jupiter.
Saturn has been high in the sky in the evening, close to reddish Aldeberan, the eye of the bull, for months. On the night of March 30, we can see it very close to Aldeberan. They are both just above the constellation of Orion.
By itself, Aldeberan looks bright. Its appearance suits its reputation of giving an aggressive influence. But beside much brighter Saturn, Aldeberan looks very subdued indeed. However, Saturn is now passing, not to return to Aldeberan for another 29 and one-half years. Catch it now!
Jupiter is the very bright star high in the evening sky. It is inside the great hexagram (see Archives, January 2002), near Orion and the Gemini Twins. Jupiter and Saturn are both on the move now, and night after night we can watch them slowly and majestically moving through the hexagram, towards the east, eventually leaving behind Taurus the Bull and Orion the Hunter.
Mercury is visible only in the southern hemisphere, on the eastern horizon shortly before dawn.