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  • Chris Baker

What's Up? - MARCH 2021

Each month I highlight a few objects you can spot in the night sky without the need for optical equipment. Here are the exciting things for March!

This month the planets are not putting on much of a show, so I thought I'd do it differently and focus on the constellation of LEO.

See if you can spot it this month and some of the features highlighted right here. Let me know!

Before that though- remember last month was ORION - note it will remain in the night sky for a while yet so don't forget to look in the SOUTH EAST mid evening.

Last Month's object is still in the sky - Orion

Courtesy of Stellarium

And now for LEO

Leo is one of the 88 modern constellations of today, and one of the most easily recognizable due to its many bright stars and a distinctive shape that is reminiscent of the crouching lion it depicts.

Courtesy of Stellarium

The lion's mane and shoulders also form an asterism known as "The Sickle," which to modern observers may resemble a backwards "question mark."

Where to Look?

Firstly look east from mid evening onwards and search for the BACWARD QUESTION MARK which forms the front of LEO. To help locate it you may find it easier to look for the brightest star in the sky - the one we talked about last month- Sirius and it is to the left of Sirius... and ORION!

Courtesy of Stellarium

You may be able to see them both in the sky at the same time.

Also look out for the bright star ARCTURUS to the left of LEO- this is part of BOOTES the Herdsman but notice it is orange. can you spot that? Let me know!

Returning to LEO - have a look at the star Regulus at the base of the question mark. It is a double star- maybe you have great eye sight and can see that but better to use binoculars to spot this double star!

Good luck and let me know if you spot LEO this month.

A Crescent MOON

It is worth trying to see the young Moon- either on evening of the 14th or the 15th. It sets about an hour after the Sun (Obviously do not use any optical equipment when the Sun is around!)

It will be a beautiful waxing crescent - look WEST an hour before sunset.

Courtesy of Stellarium

Enjoy the night sky this month and let me know about your observations of LEO -I'd love to hear.

Thank you for reading this blog and do let me know if there is anything you would like me to add to my Newsletter each month.

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