Here’s a quick look at what’s going on in the sky during the month of March, 2012:
March 3 — Mars at opposition. A body in space is at opposition when it sits 180° from the Sun in relationship to the Earth. This is the best time to view a planet.
March 5 — Mars nearest Earth.
March 8 — Full Moon, 4:40 a.m. The visible Moon is fully illuminated by direct sunlight. Though the Moon is only technically in this phase for a few seconds, it is considered “full” for the entire day of the event, and appears full for three days.
March 10 — Moon at perigee (its closest point to the Earth), 5:00 a.m.
March 11 — Daylight Savings Time begins. Turn clocks forward 1 hour.
March 14— Last Quarter Moon, 9:25 p.m. One-half of the Moon appears illuminated by direct sunlight while the illuminated part is decreasing.
March 20 — Vernal Equinox, 1:14 a.m. The Sun crosses the Equator.
March 22— New Moon, 10:37 a.m. The Moon is not illuminated by direct sunlight.
March 26 — Moon at apogee (its farthest point to the Earth), 2 a.m.
March 30— First Quarter Moon, 3:41 p.m. One-half of the Moon appears illuminated by direct sunlight while the illuminated part is increasing.