March continues the celebration of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009), which commemorates the 400th anniversary of Galileo turning the telescope to the heavens. Here’s what the month has in store for you:March 2009
NASA theme: Observing at night (and during the day)
Featured object in the sky: Saturn and its nearly edge-on rings
March 8: Saturn is at opposition (exactly opposite the Sun) and in the sky all night. It’s great for viewing in a telescope this month, but its rings are nearly edge-on and thus hard to see. To track Saturn’s position in your night sky, use StarDome, Astronomy.com’s interactive star chart.
March 10: The Full Moon is just south of Saturn in the southeastern sky during the evening.
March 14: Celebrate Albert Einstein’s 130th birthday. Einstein’s ideas of space and time underpin our modern view of the universe.
March 14: Add a little pie to your festivities! March 14 (3.14) is also Pi Day. This day celebrates the Greek letter π, which in math is the symbol that represents the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameters (3.14159…).
March 20: The spring equinox (when the Sun is located vertically above a point on the equator and day and night are the same length) marks the culmination of NASA’s Sun-Earth Day. Each year, the Sun-Earth Day recognizes NASA’s Sun-Earth Connection science, missions and cutting-edge research. This year’s theme is “Our Sun, Yours to Discover.”
March 16–28: Spend two weeks measuring the darkness of the sky and the amount of light pollution in your area with the GLOBE at Night campaign.
March 28: You can turn off your lights for one hour (between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. local time) to show your support for the Earth Hour campaign.