In Our Skies, March 2024

by Kevin Shank and Adrian Shank | Mar 5, 2024 | 0 comments

March 14 Pleiades is very close to the moon—less than 2 degrees.

March 24 Mercury is at its greatest eastern elongation from the Sun. Look for it low in the western sky just after sunset.

March 25 in the early morning (peaks 3:12 EDT), there is a penumbral lunar eclipse visible throughout all of North, Central, and South America. During a penumbral lunar eclipse, the moon is partly in Earth’s shadow, so it will appear dimmer than usual.

Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks takes seventy-one years to complete its orbit. This is the year, and its closest approach to the Sun is just a few days before the total solar eclipse. There is the possibility that this comet will become visible to the unaided eye in April. The evening of April 8, this comet will be visible low in the NW right after sunset. Jupiter will be in the W, and the comet is about 5° NW of Jupiter, closer to the horizon.

April 8, 2024, total solar eclipse.

April 21, 22 is the Lyrid Meteor Shower. This is typically an average shower, with 20 or so per hour at its peak. However, the Moon will be full, so viewing will be majorly hindered this year except for the brightest meteors.

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