Venus appears very close to Jupiter at the beginning of the month. However, their actual distances from us are 205 million km and 664 million km, respectively. Even with Jupiter’s great distance, this giant planet still appears almost 3 times the apparent diameter of Venus. You can compare their apparent diameters in your binoculars, or a small telescope if they are held very steady.
During the new moon period around March 21, you can look for the faint zodiacal light. This faint wedge of light will angle up to the left from our western horizon. It may be tricky to see even under a dark sky. The bright Venus may overwhelm its light. However modern digital cameras that can take 20-second time exposures make be able to record it in spite of the planet.
MARCH 2023 NOTEABLE DATES:
3 (Fri) Moon at Apogee
7 (Tue) Full Moon
12 (Sun) Daylight Saving, Sun enters Pisces
19 (Sun) Moon at Perigee
20 (Mon) Equinox – 1st day of Spring
21 (Tue) New Moon
31 (Fri) Moon at Apogee
One of Canada’s foremost writers and educators on astronomical topics, the Almanac has benefited from Robert’s expertise since its inception. Robert is passionate about reducing light pollution and promoting science literacy. He has been an astronomy instructor for our astronauts and he ensures that our section on sunrise and sunset, stargazing, and celestial events is so detailed and extensive it is almost like its own almanac.