March Night Sky

Its Star count time again.

The CPRE have asked us to see stars and then count them!

From 21-28 February 2020, we’re again asking for your help in looking up at the heavens. Can you help us by counting stars to map our view of the night sky?

·  Try to pick a clear night for your count, with no haze or clouds, then wait until after 7pm so the sky is really dark.

·  Looking south into the night sky, find the Orion constellation, with its four corners and ‘three-star belt’.

·  Let your eyes adjust to the darkness – the longer you wait, the better – then count the number of stars you can see within the rectangle made by the four corner stars. Don’t count the corners, but if you can see them, do count the three stars in the middle – the belt.

·  Make a note of the number of stars seen with the naked eye (not with telescopes or binoculars) and then submit your count results here

The copy me in so the Observatory have a record too. You won’t have much time to log an official count but you can still send your results to me! The dates chosen are to correspond with New Moon.

The Moon;-  First Quarter 2nd  Full Moon 9th     Last Quarter 16th    New Moon 24rd  

 The Full Moon in March is known as the Worm Moon

The Planets;-

Venus:- Best seen at the end of the month however it is that very bright object following the Sun (another rarely seen object!) towards the horizon .. At the moment it is very bright with a magnitude of – 4.0. Check out its phases after Sun sets, you can see them change as the weeks go by. Around the 27th it has a first quarter like Moon phase  (Technically dichotomy)  The best time to see this is before it gets properly dark to cut down the glare or use a Moon filter.

.Uranus;- Is well placed all night well worth getting a telescope on it through the month. It is close to Venus between the 7th and 9th of the month. It will show as a small blue/green disc.

The big three all together;-

A special sighting of the outer planets comes at the end of the month.  Jupiter, Mars & Saturn come together between the 20th and 31st March, before Sun rise.

On Youtube;-  Our video all about The Hurlers, search by using Hurlers Cornwall Carolyn to pick it up first time from the other looka likes or use the link

SKY @ NIGHT   Takes another month off but will return to our TV screens in April

SpaceX continues to chuck up more and more satellites 60 at a time, best seen early moring before sunrise or early evening after sunset.  Actual times can be found via

Image;- this month shows some of the stamps issued by the Royal Mail to mark 200 years of the RAS. I had the privilege, with others, of checking the captions on them all.

Brian Sheen.