Moscovites to observe solar eclipse in March


In March Moscovites are to expect the brightest astronomical event – a solar eclipse that this year falls on the beginning of astronomical spring, or on the vernal equinox. As the Moscow planetarium reported, the total solar eclipse will be observed from the Arctic and the Northern part of the Atlantic Ocean.

The best view of the eclipse comes from Spitsbergen archipelago. In Russia people will be able to observe partial phases of the eclipse. In Murmansk on March 20 the Moon will cover 87% of the solar disk, in Moscow – 58%, in St. Petersburg – 73%.

This month the Sun will continue moving across Aquarius. On March 13 it’ll enter Pisces, and on 21 March at 1.45 a.m. Moscow time the vernal equinox will occur. The Sun will enter the Northern hemisphere, the day will become longer, and warm days will replace rainy ones.

In March one will be able to observe with the naked eye Venus, Jupiter, Mars, Saturn and Uranus. Winter constellations are visible in the evening in the south-western part of the sky. These constellations shift gradually to the horizon, giving way to the constellations of the spring sky.

Ursa Major is situated next to the zenith point. People with good eyesight will see another star – Alcor. The ability to see the star is the traditional method of an eye test.

In the south near Ursa Major there’s the Leo constellation with its bright star Regulus. In the south-east Boötes is visible, between Boötes and Ursa Major there’s the Canes Venatici constellation. Between Boötes and Leo in the constellation of Coma Berenices one can observe through binoculars a bright Coma Star Cluster Melott 111, located at 288 light years from the Earth.

Jupiter can be visible high above the horizon in the south-east throughout the night, and Saturn – after midnight below the horizon in the southern part of the sky. Through an amateur telescope one can see the rings of Saturn. Venus shines yellow light in the west in the evening. The thin Moon’s crescent will pass near Venus on March 22. Mars and Uranus are situated below the horizon in the western part of the evening sky.

Text and pictures by TASS