This Week’s Sky at a Glance, 2023 March 18 – March 25~

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, 2023 March 18 – March 25~

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, 2023 March 18 – March 25~

Around 1930 the International Astronomical Union finalized the official constellations and their boundaries to cover the entire sky. Oddly, 22 of those 88 constellations begin with the letter “C.” Around 9 pm we can see 11 of those and parts of three others, so rather than deep sea fishing let’s go high C hunting. Starting in the west we might catch the head of Cetus the Whale before it sets, and toward the south Columba the Dove hugs the horizon below Lepus and Orion. Meanwhile, Cygnus the Swan flaps a wing above the northern horizon as it never sets completely for us.

Higher in the north the house of Cepheus the King is upright for a change. To his west we see the W-shape of his wife, Cassiopeia the Queen, and above them we might have to strain to see Camelopardalis the Giraffe. Looking southwest, to the left of Orion are his faithful big and little dogs Canis Major and Canis Minor. Barely visible above the little dog is Cancer the Crab, nestled nicely between Gemini and Leo. In the southeast we have Corvus the Crow and Crater the Cup, both of which piggyback on Hydra. Tailing Leo high in the east is Coma Berenices, the locks of distressed Queen Berenice II of Egypt, and dogging Ursa Major is Canes Venatici the Hunting Dogs. Finally, lower in the east, we see the Northern Crown, Corona Borealis.

This episode of Sky at a Glance was brought to you by the letter C and the number 14. As you find each C constellation, count out loud like the Count (One! That’s one C constellation, ah ha ha!), and for each one you find you can reward yourself with … COOKIE!

This Week in the Solar System

Saturday’s sunrise in Moncton is at 7:26 am and sunset will occur at 7:28 pm, giving 12 hours, 2 minutes of daylight (7:31 am and 7:33 pm in Saint John). Next Saturday the Sun will rise at 7:13 am and set at 7:38 pm, giving 12 hours, 25 minutes of daylight (7:18 am and 7:42 pm in Saint John). On Monday at 6:24 pm the Sun crosses the equator to begin the spring season in the northern hemisphere.

The Moon is new on Tuesday and the razor-thin crescent appears to the left of Jupiter in evening twilight on Wednesday. Around 9 – 10 pm Friday Uranus might be seen with binoculars two moon-widths to the left of the crescent Moon, with Venus about a fist-width below them. Mars makes a reddish-orange triangle with equally bright Aldebaran and brighter Betelgeuse during the week. Mercury has moved to the evening sky, setting 45 minutes after sunset by next weekend. Saturn rises 50 minutes before sunrise this weekend, a challenging binocular target a fist-width upper left of the waning crescent Moon on Sunday morning.

On Sunday evening at 8 pm, tune in to the Sunday Night Astronomy Show via the Facebook page or YouTube channel of Astronomy by the Bay.

Questions? Contact Curt Nason






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