Each week I pick the main square locations of the northern hemisphere (mid-latitudes) for the coming week, but be sure to take a look at my main feed for more in-depth articles on stars, astronomy, eclipses and more.
What to look for in the night sky this week: March 28 – April 4, 2021
After the “Super Worm Moon” on Sunday, March 28, 2021, our satellite will gradually decline, rising about 50 minutes after each day.
Before the next weekend it rises at midnight, clearing the early afternoon of moonlight and making a possible star again.
Meanwhile there is a chance to see a vibrant Moon approaching some important stars such as the “Spring Diamond” in a new season.
Sunday, 28 March 2021: ‘Super Worm Moon’
Today at 19:48 Universal Time is the full moon of March, known in North America as the “Moon Worm. ”
It happens just a day or two before perigee (when Moon’s closest to Earth is in its slightly elliptical orbit). Look at the eastern horizon at the rising of the moon where you are tonight.
Monday, March 29, 2021: Moon and Spica
A 97% gibbous wan wan moon with visible light tonight about 6.5 ° S east of Spica, the brightest star in the constellation Virgo.
About 260 light-years away, Spica is a double star that emerges as the 15th brightest star in the night sky. Look east about an hour after sunset.
Friday, April 2, 2021: Moon and Antares
Look at the southeast horizon after midnight and before sunrise and you will see a 73%-illuminated gibbous Moon wan about 5 ° from Antares, the brightest star in the Scorpius constellation, the Scorpion.
Antares is a bright red star that will one day explode like a supernova. It is about 555 light-years away.
Thing of the week: Crater Tyco
The Moon is bright after dark this week, so bright that it gets glimpses of the stars. So go look for some of its key shakes.
The easiest to find first is Tyco, a not-so-large but bright and obvious crack on the south side of the moon.
Look carefully and you will see clear streaks stretching out from it. These rays of material erupted when an asteroid hit the lunar surface here about 100 million years ago. Some of these rays are as far as 120 miles.
Asterism of the week: the ‘Spring Diamond’
As an asterism – a form – rather than a constellation, the discovery of the “Spring Diamond” in the night sky is a sure sign that the new season has arrived. It is made up of four stars; Cor Caroli at the top, Arcturus in Boötes, Denebola in Leo, and Spica near the horizon.
If you have trouble finding Cor Caroli, find Alkaid at the end of the Big Dipper / Plow / Saucepan arm and look to the right of that star. Once you’ve put those four stars together there’s a buzzard shape rising on its side – the Spring Diamond.
Times and dates given relate to mid-northern latitudes. For the most accurate information about a particular place get advice on online planetariums like Stellarium and The Sky Live. look up rising-planet / fixed-planet, sunrise / sunset and moonrise / moonset times for where you are.
Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.