Night Sky for March 2024

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Two people looking at the stars, backlight, the starry sky through the clouds bump highway
Photo Credit
Borkin Vadim

Visible Planets, Bright Stars, and Constellations

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Dust off your binoculars and prepare for a celestial adventure! Astronomer Bob Berman invites you on a guided tour of the March night sky, highlighting its dazzling gems visible to the naked eye. From the brilliant dance of Venus to the elusive whispers of galaxies, this month promises dazzling sights for stargazers of all levels.

So, step outside, gaze upwards, and let Bob Berman be your cosmic compass!

April’s Total Solar Eclipse

Ok, ok, we know that this is about the March skies. However, we would be remiss if we didn’t remind you of the TOP ASTRONOMICAL EVENT of 2024… the Total Solar Eclipse! Refer to our Complete Eclipse Guide to learn more about the Path of Totality, Viewing Tips, and more.

Venus- A Brilliant Morning Star

Venus is on display for the entire month of March, seemingly glued in place as a brilliant morning star… sitting low in the southeast sky around 6:30 A.M.

On March 7, look to Venus’ right, from 5:45 to 6:00 A.M., to see the hair-thin waning crescent Moon - in between them is the “red” planet, Mercury. Learn all about the real color of Mercury, as well as more fun facts about this small but speedy planet.

On March 21,  Venus meets up with Saturn very low in the east… bring out your trusty binoculars for your best view. On March 29, you can see Saturn again, halfway between low and brilliant Venus and the higher and dimmer Mars.

Astrophotography - the planet Venus is reflected in the water by a foggy morning
The brilliant morning star, Venus.
Photo: Pelagija

March 3: Third Quarter Moon

On March 3, look up at the Third Quarter Moon. 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 10: Daylight Saving Time Begins

On March 10, 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 9. The sunsets now occur a minute later every evening as we approach the vernal equinox on March 19. Learn more about Daylight Saving Time.

March 10: New Moon

On Sunday, March 10, 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 14: Jupiter in Sight

After darkness falls, look for the brilliant Moon with dazzling Jupiter hovering just 3 degrees above. Appearing to the Moon’s right is the bright star Spica.

Look out for the Pleiades, aka the Seven Sisters, above the pair.  Learn more about the Seven Sisters Stars in the Spring Sky (say that 5 times fast!).

March 19: Spring Equinox

Spring begins with the vernal equinox on the evening of the 19th at 11:06 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 24: Mercury Says Hello

Catch Mercury in the west after sunset in March! Look for the brightest “star” near the horizon, around March 24. It’ll be visible for a few weeks before fading and disappearing in April. Telescopes offer a closer look at this tiny planet.

March 25: The Full Worm Moon

On March 25, the full Worm Moon reaches its peak illumination at 3:42 a.m. EST. Because of its timing, the Moon will appear full on both Sunday night and Monday night. Here’s all you need to know about the full Worm Moon.

After midnight, a penumbral eclipse of the full Moon occurs. But this isn’t worth waiting up to see. During a penumbral eclipse, the appearance of the Moon does not visibly change. This is one of the 2024 Sky Events that we suggest you skip this year.

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 points 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 2024, bright planets and stars

About The Author

Bob Berman

Bob Berman, astronomer editor for The Old Farmer’s Almanac, covers everything under the Sun (and Moon)! Bob is the world’s most widely read astronomer and has written ten popular books. Read More from Bob Berman

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