Fun astronomy facts to impress your friends with!

Astronomy Fact of the Day for March 2017

 

1st – Looking to the west around 7 o’clock tonight you will see the crescent moon. Look to the right of the Moon to see Mars and below Mars to see Venus!

2nd – Looking to the east around 8 o’clock tonight you will see a group of stars that look like a backwards question mark. These stars form the head of Leo the Lion.

3rd – Public telescope viewing will be held the James S. McDonnell Planetarium tonight with the St. Louis Astronomical Society. For more information visit www.slsc.org

4th – Looking high in the southwest around 7 o’clock tonight you will see the crescent moon. Look to the right of the Moon to see a star cluster called the Seven Sisters!

5th – On this date in 1979 Voyager 1 made its closest approach to Jupiter. Looking to the southeast around 10 o’clock tonight you will see Jupiter.

6th – On this date in 2009 a Delta II rocket carried the Kepler spacecraft into an Earth trailing orbit around the Sun. Kepler has found at least 2,330 planets around other stars!

7th – The Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft have enough power to operate until the year 2020. Voyager 2 will come within about 4.3 light years from the star Sirius in about 296,000 years!

8th – Looking to the southeast around 5 o’clock tomorrow morning you will see Saturn. The Cassini Spacecraft will end its 13 year mission by crashing into Saturn this September.

9th – Looking to the west around 7 o’clock tonight you will see Venus. Japan’s Akatsuki spacecraft is in orbit around Venus studying weather and searching for signs of active volcanism on this planet.

10th – Look to the east around 7 o’clock tonight you will see the star Regulus just above the Moon. This star is part of Leo the Lion.

11th – Daylight saving time begins tomorrow so set your clocks forward 1 hour tonight. As you spring forward you will see the spring constellation Leo in the east around 8 o’clock tonight.

12th – Looking to the east around 9 o’clock tonight you will see the full moon in the southeast. The March full moon is known as the full Worm Moon.

13th – Looking to the southeast around 11 o’clock tonight you will see the Moon above Jupiter. Look just below Jupiter to see the star Spica!

14th – Celebrate Pi day by finding circumference of Uranus! You can find planet’s circumference by multiplying diameter of Uranus (31,518.4 miles) by Pi (3.14159).

15th – Looking to the west around 8 o’clock tonight you will see Mars. There are 5 orbiters and 2 rovers currently exploring the red planet.

16th – Looking to the northeast around 8 o’clock tonight you will see the Big Dipper. These stars are part of the constellation Ursa Major the Great Bear.

17th – Looking to the southwest around 9 o’clock tonight you will see six bright stars that form the winter circle.

18th –On this date in 1965 cosmonaut Alexei Leonov became the first human to walk in space. On June 3rd of the same year Ed White became the first American to spacewalk.

19th – Looking to the southeast around 6 o’clock tomorrow morning you will see the Moon. Look just below the Moon to see Saturn!

20th – Today is the Vernal Equinox which is the first official day of spring. On this day we will have equal amount of daylight and equal amount of nighttime!

21st – Looking to the east around 10 o’clock tonight you will see the stars: Arcturus, Spica, Denebola, and Cor Caroli. Together these stars form the spring diamond.

22nd – Looking to the northwest around 8 o’clock tonight you will see a group of stars that look like a letter “w” turned sideways. This is the constellation Cassiopeia the Queen.

23rd – Looking to the east around 10 o’clock tonight you will see the orange star Arcturus. This star is part of the spring constellation Boötes the Herdsman.

24th – Looking to the south around 6 o’clock tomorrow morning you will see a group of stars that look like the letter “J” This is the summer constellation Scorpius the Scorpion.

25th – On this date in 1928 James Arthur Lovell Jr. was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He flew aboard Gemini 7 and Apollo 8. He is most noted for his role as commander of Apollo 13.

26th – Looking to the west around 8 o’clock tonight you will see Mercury just above the horizon. The MESSENGER spacecraft orbited this planet for 4 years and found evidence for water ice deposits in the Polar Regions.

27th – On this date in 1972 the Russian robotic spacecraft Venera 8 was launched. This spacecraft was equipped to study the temperature and pressure of Venus.

28th – Looking to the east around 10 o’clock tonight you will see a bright orange star called Arcturus. This star is part of the constellation Boötes the Herdsman.

29th – On this date in 1807 the asteroid, 4 Vesta was discovered by Heinrich Olbers. Vesta lies within the asteroid belt and was visited by the Dawn spacecraft from 2011 to 2012!

30th – Looking to the west around 8 o’clock tonight you will see Mars to the right of the Moon. Look below and to the right of Mars to see Mercury.

31st – Looking to the east around 5 o’clock tomorrow morning you will see 3 bright stars that form the summer triangle. You will see this pattern in the evening sky all summer!