Skywatch: Goodbye Winter, hello Spring


The moon will play a big role in this week’s night sky. On Monday night it enters the constellation of Leo and will be very close to the lion’s brightest star, Regulus. Look in the east at nightfall to find the pair.

So far this year we’ve had two supermoons and another one is on the way this week! The moon will be at something known as perigee on Tuesday afternoon. That’s the closest point to Earth in its orbit. At 3:48 in the afternoon the moon will be 223,307 miles away from us.

Because the Full Moon so soon after the perigee we can call it a supermoon, the technical term is perigee-syzygy. More on the Full Moon in a second.

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We also welcome a new season this week! On Wednesday at 5:58 p.m. the sun will be directly overhead at the equator. This is called the vernal, or spring, equinox and simply put it’s when we can officially say goodbye to winter hopefully mother nature gets the memo.

A few hours after winter comes to an end the Full Moon arrives at 9:43 p.m. This month’s Full Moon is known as the Full Worm Moon because traditionally as warmer weather starts to take hold in March the ground begins to thaw and worm casts become more plentiful. It’s also called the Full Sap Moon.

In the late week if you’re out early look in the south and southeastern sky about a half hour before daybreak. Jupiter and Saturn will shine brightly near the constellation of Scorpius. Above is how the three will look on Friday morning. Happy hunting!