The RASC supports a number of observing programs and initiatives designed to help members and others get the most out of their involvement with amateur astronomy. The RASC's Observing Certificate program provides you with a structured program that will allow you to explore the night sky and earn a certificate in the process. Observing sections allow members to find out more information about specialized observing topics. Finally, selected resources are provided to help you get the most out of your observing experience.
The RASC's Observing Programs are supported and managed by the RASC Observing Committee. Participation in this committee is welcome. To reach the committee you may e-mail the Observing Committee Chair.
The Solar System This Month
The Solar System: March 2015
On the 3rd, the Moon shares the night sky with Jupiter, and this is the smallest apparition of the year. The moon is full on the 5th.
Look for Mercury about 7 a.m. just before sunrise. Telescopic observers might like the challenge of seeing Neptune and Mercury together in the same eyepiece view on March 17.
Using Venus as a guide, a good opportunity to view Uranus through binoculars is on the 4th, as the two planets are only a tenth of a degree apart.
Mars begins the month as part of the threesome mentioned above, and quickly passes Uranus, following behind Venus as it climbs higher in the evening sky.
Jupiter starts out with the near-full Moon close by in the eastern evening sky. The giant planet is well placed for viewers through the evening, rising around sunset, just east of the Gemini twins, Castor and Pollux.
Saturn rises a little after midnight in the constellation Scorpius, and begins retrograde motion on the 14th.
Uranus begins the month at the top of the evening trio and ends the month behind the Sun.
Neptune is a tough view, since it disappears into the Sun’s glare as soon as it shows above the horizon.
*Jupiter image courtesy of nasa.com