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What’s Up for March 2017?

What’s Up for March 2017?

What’s Up for March? The moon hides red star Aldebaran and crescents dazzle after dusk.

What’s Up for March 2017?

On March 4 the first quarter moon passes
between Earth and the star Aldebaran, temporarily blocking our view of the
star. This is called an occultation. 

What’s Up for March 2017?

The
occultation begins and concludes at different times, depending on where you are
when you view it.

What’s Up for March 2017?

The event should be easy to see from most of
the U.S., Mexico, most of Central America, the Western Caribbean and Bermuda. 

What’s Up for March 2017?

Observers along a narrow path from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Hartford,
Connecticut, will see the moon “graze” the star. The star will disappear and
reappear repeatedly as hills and valleys on the moon alternately obscure and
reveal it.

What’s Up for March 2017?

As seen from Earth, both Mercury and Venus
have phases like our moon. That’s because they circle the sun inside Earth’s
orbit. 

What’s Up for March 2017?

Planets that orbit between Earth and the sun are known as inner or
inferior planets.

What’s Up for March 2017?

Inferior planets can never be at
“opposition,” which is when the planet and the sun are on opposite sides of
Earth.

What’s Up for March 2017?

But inferior planets can be at “conjunction,”
which is when a planet, the sun and Earth are all in a straight line. 

What’s Up for March 2017?

Conjunction can happen once when the planet is on the opposite side of the sun
from Earth and again when it’s on the same side of the sun as Earth. 

What’s Up for March 2017?

When a
planet is on the opposite side of the sun from Earth, we say it is at “superior
conjunction.” As the planet moves out from behind the sun and gets closer to
Earth, we see less and less of the lit side. We see phases, similar to our
moon’s phases. 

What’s Up for March 2017?

Mercury is at superior conjunction on March
6. 

What’s Up for March 2017?

A few weeks later, the planet emerges from behind the sun and we can once
again observe it. By the end of March we’ll see a last-quarter Mercury.

What’s Up for March 2017?

 On
April 20 Mercury reaches “inferior conjunction.”

What’s Up for March 2017?

Brilliant Venus is also racing toward its own
inferior conjunction on March 25. Watch its crescent get thinner and thinner as
the planet’s size appears larger and larger, because it is getting closer to
Earth.

What’s Up for March 2017?

Finally, look for Jupiter to rise in the
East. It will be visible all month long from late evening until dawn.

What’s Up for March 2017?

You can catch up on solar system missions and
all of our missions at www.nasa.gov

Watch the full “What’s Up for March 2017″ video here: 

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