Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Astronomical Events Coming in March 2012

To get the best possible results with my astrophotography, I try to plan ahead to shoot as many astronomical events as I can. Here are some of the opportunities you'll have in the next month:

March 3/4: Mars at Opposition.  Mars will be as close as it gets to the earth, and will rise in the evening as the sun sets.
March 5: Mercury may be visible shortly after the sun sets through March 12, but on March 5 it reaches it maximum distance from the sun.
March 7: The nearly-full moon will rise just before sunset. Mars will rise right behind the moon in the evening sky.
March 8: Full moon.
March 9: The nearly-full moon will set just after sunrise.
March 10 - 20: Venus and Jupiter Conjunction
March 12: Arguably the best day of the Venus - Jupiter conjunction, as Jupiter will be just above Venus.
March 21: Thin crescent moon rises shortly before sunrise.
March 22: New Moon. March 21-24 will be good nights for star trail photography!
March 24: Thin crescent moon sets shortly before sunset.
March 24-25: Conjunction of Venus, Jupiter and the crescent moon.

I'll be out shooting with 25-30 of my photographer friends in Anza Borrego State Park and Death Valley National Park in the March 2-10 timeframe, and soon I'll be announcing photowalks for April, May and June.  The best place to catch my announcements will be on Google+: