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Best Night Sky Events of March 2016 (Stargazing Maps)

Last Quarter Moon, March 2016

Starry Night Software

See what's up in the night sky for March 2016, including stargazing events and the moon's phases, in this Space.com gallery courtesy of Starry Night Software. Shown here: Tuesday, March 1, 6:11 p.m. EST. The Last Quarter Moon rises around 12:45 a.m. and sets around 11 a.m. It is most easily seen just after sunrise in the southern sky. This is the first of two Last Quarter Moons this month.

New Moon, March 2016

Starry Night Software

Tuesday, March 8, 8:54 p.m. EST. The moon is not visible on the date of New Moon because it is too close to the sun, but can be seen low in the east as a narrow crescent a morning or two before, just before sunrise. It is visible low in the west an evening or two after New Moon.

First Quarter Moon, March 2016

Starry Night Software

Tuesday, March 15, 1:03 p.m. EDT. The First Quarter Moon rises around noon and sets around 3:15 a.m. It dominates the evening sky.

Full Moon, March 2016

Starry Night Software

Wednesday, March 23, 8:01 a.m. EDT. The March Full Moon is known as the Worm Moon, Crow Moon, Sap Moon or Lenten Moon. It rises around sunset and sets around sunrise; this is the only night in the month when the moon is in the sky all night long. The rest of the month, the moon spends at least some time in the daytime sky.

Last Quarter Moon, March 2016

Starry Night Software

Thursday, March 31, 11:17 a.m. EDT. The Last Quarter Moon rises around 2:15 a.m. and sets around 12:15 p.m. It is most easily seen just after sunrise in the southern sky. This is the second of two Last Quarter Moons this month.

Venus and the moon, March 2016

Starry Night Software

Monday, March 7, 6:00 a.m. EST. Venus and the moon rise around 6 a.m., about 45 minutes before sunrise, less than 3 degrees apart.

Double shadow transit on Jupiter, March 2016

Starry Night Software

Monday, March 7, 7:28–8:58 p.m. EST. Shadows of Io and Europa cross Jupiter simultaneously. Because this is only 10 hours before opposition, the moons almost overlap their shadows.

Jupiter at opposition, March 2016

Starry Night Software

Tuesday, March 8, 6:00 a.m. EST. Jupiter is exactly opposite the sun in the sky, and is visible all night.

Total eclipse of the sun, March 2016

Starry Night Software

Wednesday, March 9. The path of totality crosses the islands of Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi, and Halmahera in Indonesia, before heading to across the Pacific Ocean. It is seen here from Palembang on Sumatra. Partial phases of the eclipse will be visible in Southeast Asia, China, Japan, Papua-New Guinea, all of Australia except the southeast, Alaska, and Hawaii.

Double shadow transit on Jupiter, March 14, 2016

Starry Night Software

Monday, March 14, 10:22–11:34 p.m. EDT. Shadows of Io and Europa cross Jupiter simultaneously.

Equinox, March 2016

Starry Night Software

Sunday, March 20, 12:30 a.m. EDT. The sun crosses the celestial equator traveling north, marking the vernal equinox in the northern hemisphere. Days and nights are of equal length. The sun rises due east and sets due west.

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Geoff Gaherty

Geoff Gaherty was Space.com's Night Sky columnist and in partnership with Starry Night software and a dedicated amateur astronomer who sought to share the wonders of the night sky with the world. Based in Canada, Geoff studied mathematics and physics at McGill University and earned a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Toronto, all while pursuing a passion for the night sky and serving as an astronomy communicator. He credited a partial solar eclipse observed in 1946 (at age 5) and his 1957 sighting of the Comet Arend-Roland as a teenager for sparking his interest in amateur astronomy. In 2008, Geoff won the Chant Medal from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, an award given to a Canadian amateur astronomer in recognition of their lifetime achievements. Sadly, Geoff passed away July 7, 2016 due to complications from a kidney transplant, but his legacy continues at Starry Night.