Each week I pick out the northern hemisphere’s celestial highlights (mid-northern latitudes) for the week ahead, but be sure to check my main feed for more in-depth articles on stargazing, astronomy, eclipses and more.
What To Watch For In The Night Sky This Week: March 28–April 4, 2021
After the “Super Worm Moon” on Sunday, March 28, 2021, our satellite will gradually wane, rising about 50 minutes after each day.
By next weekend it will be rising at midnight, clearing the early evening of moonlight and making stargazing possible again.
Meanwhile there’s a chance to see the waning gibbous Moon passing close to some important stars as the “Spring Diamond” stars usher-in a new season.
Sunday, March 28, 2021: ‘Super Worm Moon’
Today at 19:48 Universal Time is March’s full Moon, known in North America as the “Worm Moon.”
It occurs just a couple of days before perigee (when Moon’s is closest to the Earth in its slightly elliptical orbit). Watch the eastern horizon at moonrise where you are tonight.
Monday, March 29, 2021: Moon and Spica
A 97%-lit waning gibbous Moon will tonight be visible about 6.5°S east of Spica, the brightest star in the constellation of Virgo.
About 260 light-years distant, Spica is a double star that appears as the 15th brightest star in the night sky. Look towards the east about an hour after sunset.
Friday, April 2, 2021: Moon and Antares
Look to the southeast horizon after midnight and before sunrise and you’ll see a 73%-illuminated waning gibbous Moon about 5° from Antares, the brightest star in the constellation of Scorpius, the Scorpion.
Antares is a red supergiant star that will one day explode as a supernova. It’s around 555 light-years distant.
Object of the week: Tyco crater
The Moon is bright after dark this week, so bright that it will dull views of the stars. So go looking for some of its major craters.
The easiest one to find first is Tyco, a not-particularly-large yet bright and prominent crater on the south of the Moon.
Look carefully and you’ll see bright streaks extending outwards from it. These rays of material ejected when an asteroid hit the Moon’s surface here about 100 million years ago. Some of these rays are as long as 120 miles.
Asterism of the week: the ‘Spring Diamond’
As asterism—shape—rather than a constellation, finding the “Spring Diamond” in the eastern night sky is a sure sign that the new season has arrived. It’s made from four stars; Cor Caroli at the top, Arcturus in Boötes, Denebola in Leo, and Spica near the horizon.
If you have trouble finding Cor Caroli, locate Alkaid at the end of the handle of the Big Dipper/Plough/Saucepan and look to that star’s right. Once you’ve put those four stars together you’ve got the shape of a kite rising on its side—the Spring Diamond.
Times and dates given apply to mid-northern latitudes. For the most accurate location-specific information consult online planetariums like Stellarium and The Sky Live. Check planet-rise/planet-set, sunrise/sunset and moonrise/moonset times for where you are.
Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.
This article is auto-generated by Algorithm Source: www.forbes.com