Night Sky for March 2023: Visible Planets, Bright Stars | Almanac.com

Night Sky for March 2023

Primary Image
Night sky featuring Venus, the Moon, and Jupiter
Photo Credit
The Planetary Society

Visible Planets, Bright Stars, and Constellations

Bob Berman
Print Friendly and PDF
No content available.

On Thursday, March 23, and Friday, March 24, 2023, you can’t miss super-bright Venus next to the thin crescent Moon. Bob Berman highlights the best of stargazing for the naked eye. See details.

March 1: Venus and Jupiter Conjunction

On March 1, Venus and Jupiter are breathtakingly close to each other, low in the western sky 40 minutes after sunset, creating the year’s finest conjunction. Look first for Venus, the brightest object in the sky (other than the Moon), which is positioned just half a degree to the right of Jupiter.  

On March 2, Venus and Jupiter are visibly separating. During March, Jupiter sinks lower while Venus climbs a bit higher each evening. 

March 7: The Full Worm Moon

On March 7, the full Worm Moon reaches its peak illumination at 7:42 a.m. EST, 4:42 a.m. PST, or 12:42 GMT. Because of its timing, the Moon will appear full on both Monday night and Tuesday night. Here’s all you need to know about the full Worm Moon.

March 12: Daylight Saving Time Begins

On March 12, Daylight Saving Time begins. Time to spring forward! As this is a Sunday at 2 a.m., you may wish to ensure all clocks are set forward Saturday evening, March 11. The sunsets now occur a minute later every evening as we approach the vernal equinox on March 20. Learn more about Daylight Saving Time.

March 14: Third Quarter Moon

On March 14, look up at the Third Quarter Moon at 10:10 p.m. EDT or 7:10 p.m. PDT. This Moon phase is important because the darkest skies follow this phase—ideal for stargazing! Why is it called a Quarter Moon (not a half Moon)? Find out.

March 20: Spring Equinox

Spring begins with the vernal equinox on the evening of the 20th at 5:24 p.m. EDT. This marks the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and the start of autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. The sun will rise perfectly due east and set due west. Learn more facts about the vernal equinox

March 21: New Moon

On Tuesday, March 21, the Moon appears absent from the skies. However, it’s simply hidden from our view for the night. This is a perfect night for stargazing. Did you know spring is galaxy time? More galaxies are visible from March to mid-May, early in the evening. Learn more about seeing galaxies.

March 22: New Moon Meets Jupiter

On Wednesday, March 22, look about a half-hour after sunset for a subtle but magical sight. The very young Moon is only a thin crescent. It’s less than 2 days after the New Moon, and hovers right above planet Jupiter. It’s only 1.3 degrees apart—about a thumb’s width. You’ll probably need a clear sight-line to the west to see either the Moon or Jupiter.

March 23 and 24: Moon and Venus

You can’t miss Venus and the Moon, blazing super bright in early evening, shortly after sunset. On Thursday, March 23, look first for the young Moon high in the west. Venus hovers right above the slender crescent Moon. Then on Friday, March 24, look shortly after sunset once again; now Venus floats right below the Moon. Bright Jupiter may be hard to see below them very near the horizon, about double the distance between Venus and the Moon.

Also on the 24th, binocular users can look for green planet Uranus to the left of the Moon. Since there are no green stars, the color should make it easily identifiable. 

March 27 and 28: Moon, Mars, and Venus

As the Sun sets, look for the waxing crescent Moon high in the sky. Then look very nearby for Mars—only a palm’s width away! The planet appears as a reddish dot in the night sky. Super-bright Venus shines below, over halfway down to the western horizon. On Monday, March 27, Mars hovers just to the upper left of the Moon. On Tuesday, March 28, Mars floats to the right of the half-Moon.

Venus will have good visibility; Mars is average visibility; Uranus, Jupiter, and Mercury are difficult. Credit: Starry Hill Observatory.

Mars and the Moon are part of an impressive gathering of stars and planets that surround Orion in the southwest at nightfall. Nearby you’ll find red star Betelgeuse in the constellation Orion the Hunter and red star Aldebaran in the constellation Taurus the Bull.

Credit: Starry Night Education

Five Planets in a Line

In the media, you may have heard about 5 planets being visible in the sky on March 27. Technically, this is true, however, let’s dispel the media hype. See Bob’s post for the real story and what you CAN see.

Sirius, the Dog Star

March is a great month to marvel at Sirius—the brightest star in our sky. Sirius is nicknamed “the Dog Star” because it’s the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major. Sirius is super easy to locate: Just face toward the south and look for Orion. The three bright stars that make up Orion’s belt point downward, toward Sirius. See my post on Sirius, The Brightest Star in the Sky Tonight.

The Big Dipper

On March evenings, it’s easy to find the Big Dipper. This is not a constellation but an “asterism” which is composed of the seven brightest stars in the constellation Ursa Major, the Greater Bear. The shape of the Big Dipper never varies, but its orientation changes constantly. See our free stargazing map to navigate the Big Dipper.

Now see what’s up for April 2023 bright planets and stars