Weekly Sky Report
The Griffith Observatory Sky Report
This is the Griffith Observatory Sky Report through March 21st, 2019. Here’s what’s happening in the skies of southern California.
Spring begins in the Earth’s northern hemisphere–as autumn starts in the southern hemisphere–at 2:58 p.m., PDT, on March 20th. Spring ends at the solstice on June 21.
The moon is full on the 20th and lights most of the nighttime hours through the week ending on the 21st.
The planet Mars, in the constellation Taurus the Bull appears as a red-hued point below the Pleiades star cluster in the western sky as darkness falls. Mars sets in the west-northwest at about 11:00 p.m.
Three bright planets are impressive at 6:30 a.m., before dawn has advanced very far. The brightest planet, Venus is low over the southeast horizon while Jupiter, the second brightest planet, is at its highest and is crossing the southern meridian. The golden-colored planet Saturn is directly between the brighter planets. Jupiter and Saturn will gradually appear earlier and will move into the evening sky during the summer. Venus is now passing around the far side of the sun and in another month it will be hidden in the sun’s glare. Venus won’t move into the evening sky until autumn.
The International Space Station makes early morning passes over Los Angeles on Tuesday and Wednesday. On the 16th, the ISS will rival the brightness of Venus as it crosses the sky as it moves from northwest to southeast between 6:07 and 6:13 a.m. It will be 59 degrees above the southwest horizon at 6:10 a.m. On the following morning, March 17th, the ISS will suddenly appear already 60 degrees high in the east-northeast as it moves out of Earth’s shadow at 5:19 a.m. It will descend toward the east-southeast horizon over the following three minutes.
Free views of the Sun during the day and of the moon, planets, and other celestial objects at night are available to the public in clear weather through Griffith Observatory’s telescopes from Tuesday through Sunday, before 9:30 p.m. Check our website for the schedule. The next free public star party on the grounds of Griffith Observatory, hosted by the Los Angeles Astronomical Society, the Sidewalk Astronomers, and the Planetary Society, will take place on Saturday, March 16th between 2:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
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From Griffith Observatory, I’m Anthony Cook, and I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.