March 2017 – Where to look for the planets

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Use the finder charts on this page to guide you to where to look for the planets in March 2017.

A few pointers:

  • All planets visible to the unaided eye look like stars. Planets visible to the unaided eye include Mercury, Venus, Earth (look down!), Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
  • In a telescope, Uranus and Neptune are visible as tiny discs. The dwarf planet Pluto remains looking like a star in even the largest amateur telescope.
  • Stars are shown to magnitude 5 on the charts unless otherwise noted. This is a compromise between what you would see from the light polluted skies of a city (where you will see significantly less stars) and dark country skies (where you will see significantly more stars).
  • Unless otherwise noted, the finder charts are prepared for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. The charts will be useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia.
  • Chart times are given in AEST or Australian Eastern Standard Time. Remember to change for ‘Summer Time’ if this is in force in your location.

February – April 2017 ‘Amazing Space‘ student newsletter

Each term, I publish a free ‘Amazing Space!’ student newsletter. The newsletter’s content will vary but currently includes finder charts for planets visible to the unaided eye (in the early evening sky), where to look for easily recognisable constellations and Moon phases for the months of that term.

Download the Amazing Space Newsletter February – April 2017 issue. Back issues of the newsletter can be found here.

Download the PDF version of the February – April 2017 Amazing Space newsletter by clicking the above link.

2 March 2017 – Moon, Venus, Mars and Uranus finder chart – Evening twilight sky

Moon, Venus, Mars and Uranus finder chart. Chart prepared for 7.15 pm AEST on Thursday 2 March 2017 for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

Moon, Venus, Mars and Uranus finder chart. Chart prepared for 7.15 pm AEST on Thursday 2 March 2017 for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

2 March 2017 – Moon, Mars and Uranus binocular finder chart – Early evening sky

Moon, Mars and Uranus binocular finder chart. Stars shown to magnitude 9 to allow ‘star hopping’ with binoculars. Chart prepared for 7.30 pm AEST on Thursday 2 March 2017 for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

14 March 2017 – Moon, Jupiter and Spica finder chart – Early evening sky

Moon, Jupiter and Spica (the brightest star in the ancient Greek constellation Virgo 'The Virgin') finder chart. Chart prepared for 7.30 pm AEST on Tuesday 14 March 2017 for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

Moon, Jupiter and Spica (the brightest star in the ancient Greek constellation Virgo ‘The Virgin’) finder chart. Chart prepared for 7.30 pm AEST on Tuesday 14 March 2017 for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

20 March 2017 – Moon and Saturn finder chart – Late evening sky

Moon and Saturn finder chart. Chart prepared for 11.30 pm AEST on Monday 20 March 2017 for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

Moon and Saturn finder chart. Chart prepared for 11.30 pm AEST on Monday 20 March 2017 for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

31 March 2017 – Moon, Mars and Aldebaran finder chart – Early evening sky

Moon, Mars and Aldebaran (the brightest star in the ancient Greek constellation Taurus 'The Bull

Moon, Mars and Aldebaran (the brightest star in the ancient Greek constellation Taurus ‘The Bull”) finder chart. Chart prepared for 7 pm AEST on Friday 31 March 2017 for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

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