Astronomical highlights for the week.

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Highlights

  • March 10: Daylight Saving Time begins
  • March 11: Mars will be within a few degrees north of the moon in the evening sky.
  • March 13 2258 GMT (6:58 p.m. EDT): A Delta IV rocket is planned to launch the a military communications satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida
  • March 14: NASA’s Nick Hague and Christina Hammock Koch and Alexey Ovchinin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos will launch for the ISS from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:14 p.m. EDT. This is Koch’s (NC State alum, go ACC!) first flight, while Hague and Ovchinin are veteran astronauts including the aborted launch of the Soyuz last October.
  • The Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk, or GOLD, mission is the first to study the conditions in the upper atmosphere across an entire hemisphere. It is a collaboration between the Universities of Central Florida, Colorado Boulder, and California Berkeley, Virginia Tech, the NCAR, and NOAA. Initial data products will be available in the coming weeks. More Info

    click for fact sheet
  • Wed Mar 06 11:03:58: new moon

On This Day

  • Mar 5, 1979: Voyager 1 made its closest approach to Jupiter on its way out of the solar system.
  • Mar 10, 2006: The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter enters Mars orbit.

 

Near Earth Objects (NEO)

lunar distance (LD) is the mean distance to the moon ~239k miles. Anything within 1 LD is newsworthy. For more information see NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies

This week

object

close approach date

uncertainty

LD

million
miles

2019 DT1

2019-03-03 05:58Z

<1 hour

17.3

4+

2019 DG1

2019-03-03 08:47Z

< 1 sec

4.8

1+

2019 DX

2019-03-03 14:46Z

~1 hour

3.8

<1

2019 DM

2019-03-03 17:36Z

< 1 sec

7.0

~2

2019 CX4

2019-03-04 00:10Z

< 1 sec

18.4

~4.55

2019 DQ1

2019-03-04 07:55Z

< 1 sec

11.4

~3

2019 CW

2019-03-04 13:27Z

< 1 sec

19.2

~5

2015 EG

2019-03-04 21:03Z

< 1 sec

1.1

~0.55

2019 DC

2019-03-05 12:00Z

< 1 sec

10.9

~3

2019 DL1

2019-03-05 13:20Z

~1 hour

9.4

~2.55

2019 DA1

2019-03-06 15:05Z

~1 hour

3.6

<1

2019 DN

2019-03-08 16:19Z

< 1 sec

13.5

3+

2012 DF31

2019-03-09 12:44Z

< 1 sec

9.3

2+

2019 CM4

2019-03-11 18:12Z

< 1 sec

13.8

~3.55

2019 DH

2019-03-11 21:03Z

~1 hour

7.6

<2

2019 DJ1

2019-03-12 22:15Z

~1 hour

4.0

~1

2013 EG68

2019-03-13 05:48Z

~5.55 days

19.3

~5

2012 VZ19

2019-03-13 06:24Z

~4 days

7.7

<2

Closest

within

object

close approach date

uncertainty

lunar distances

million
miles

~14 days

2015 EG

2019-03-04 21:03Z

< 1 sec

1.1

~0.55

~1 year

2015 EG

2019-03-04 21:03Z

< 1 sec

1.1

~0.55

~100 years

2010 RF12

2095-09-06 00:03Z

~4.55 hours

0.1

~15,290.55 miles

Planet visibility

body (phase)

rise

transit (alt)

set

constellation

Mercury (21%)

07:08:45

13:18:46 (52??)

19:29:09

Pisces

Venus (73%)

04:52:06

09:47:51 (31??)

14:43:56

Capricornus

Moon (2%)

05:56:58

11:06:02 (33??)

16:20:05

Capricornus

Mars

09:03:17

16:03:20 (66??)

23:04:20

Aries

Saturn

04:00:39

08:43:30 (28??)

13:26:21

Sagittarius

Jupiter

02:12:45

06:52:20 (27??)

11:31:54

Ophiuchus

Sample rise/set times for 03/04/19

Satellite Passes

This information is best used to identify passes worth sharing or skipping. Those nearest overhead are closest, brightest, and longest. Check dates and times for each pass before your share.

International Space Station (ISS)

  • below trees pass exits Earth’s shadow 11° above the horizon Mon 2019-03-04 05:32:25 EST from the NNW (327°) reaches 13°, lasts 2 minutes
  • below trees pass begins Tue 2019-03-05 06:18:35 EST from the NNW (339°) reaches 13°, lasts 3 minutes
  • below trees pass begins Wed 2019-03-06 05:27:30 EST from the NNW (336°) reaches 12°, lasts 2 minutes
  • below trees pass begins Thu 2019-03-07 06:13:04 EST from the NNW (335°) reaches 16°, lasts 4 minutes
  • below trees pass begins Fri 2019-03-08 05:22:13 EST from the NNW (338°) reaches 13°, lasts 3 minutes
  • poor pass begins Sat 2019-03-09 06:07:22 EST from the NNW (327°) reaches 24°, lasts 5 minutes
  • fair pass begins Mon 2019-03-11 07:01:41 EDT from the NW (317°) reaches 45°, lasts 6 minutes
  • outstanding pass begins Wed 2019-03-13 06:56:11 EDT from the WNW (303°) reaches 73°, lasts 6 minutes

Atmospheric drag and other factors can and does cause orbits to change. See the European Space Agency supported Heavens Above for the latest pass predictions. Satellite pass gradings are based on altitude reached and duration of the pass. Higher altitude passes are closer to the observer and generally brighter as a result. Satellites other than ISS are much more difficult to spot.

Moon Phases

date

phase

Wed 2019-03-06 11:03:58

new

Thu 2019-03-14 06:27:04

first quarter

Wed 2019-03-20 21:42:51

full

Thu 2019-03-28 00:09:40

last quarter

Sun

Sunrise/set

Date

Rise

Solar noon (alt)

Set

sunlight

Mon 2019-03-04

06:43

12:25 (43.17??)

18:08

11 hrs 25 min

Tue 2019-03-05

06:42

12:25 (43.55??)

18:09

11 hrs 27 min

Wed 2019-03-06

06:40

12:25 (43.94??)

18:11

11 hrs 30 min

Thu 2019-03-07

06:38

12:25 (44.33??)

18:12

11 hrs 33 min

Fri 2019-03-08

06:37

12:24 (44.72??)

18:13

11 hrs 35 min

Sat 2019-03-09

06:35

12:24 (45.11??)

18:14

11 hrs 38 min

Sun 2019-03-10

07:34

13:24 (45.50??)

19:15

11 hrs 41 min

Mon 2019-03-11

07:32

13:24 (45.89??)

19:16

11 hrs 43 min

Tue 2019-03-12

07:31

13:23 (46.29??)

19:17

11 hrs 46 min

Wed 2019-03-13

07:29

13:23 (46.68??)

19:18

11 hrs 49 min

  • gained 0:24:06 (hh:mm:ss) of daylight over this period
  • daylight (HH:MM): 11:36
  • mean: sunrise 07:01 sunset 18:38
  • max: sun angle 46.68??

Twilight

date

rise

set

Mon 2019-03-04

05:11

19:40

Tue 2019-03-05

05:09

19:41

Wed 2019-03-06

05:08

19:42

Thu 2019-03-07

05:06

19:43

Fri 2019-03-08

05:05

19:44

Sat 2019-03-09

05:03

19:45

Sun 2019-03-10

06:01

20:47

Mon 2019-03-11

06:00

20:48

Tue 2019-03-12

05:58

20:49

Wed 2019-03-13

05:56

20:50

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