Mar 3rd: What’s Up Tonight! Southern Skies March 2015 Edition

By on March 3, 2015 in

Podcaster: Alice Enevoldsen aka Alice’s AstroInfo

Alices-Astro-InfoTitle: What’s Up Tonight! Southern Skies March 2015 Edition

Organization: Alice’s AstroInfo

Link :
Heavens-Above Starcharts for anywhere, anytime, not installation required
Stellarium Free planetarium-style program for your computer or tablet
7Timer – Clear sky charts (will it be clear enough for stargazing?). Input your location, then click on “ASTRO” in the pop-up.

Description: Presented as a counterpart to Awesome Astronomy’s Northern Hemisphere monthly forecast, Alice talks about what’s visible from the Southern Hemisphere. Focused at about 33°S, this forecast should work for anywhere between 25°S and 50°S

Bio: Alice Enevoldsen currently volunteers as one of NASA’s Solar System Ambassadors. She has been working in planetariums since 1996, has a B.A. in Astronomy-Geology from Whitman College, and a Masters in Teaching from Seattle University. Her fascination with the stars led her to try her hand at astronomy research in Boston and Walla Walla, where she realized that her calling in life was actually to work in outreach and be a translator for scientists. Now she works hard to share her love of the stars and excitement about astronomy with as many people as possible.

Today’s sponsor: This episode of “365 Days of Astronomy” is sponsored by — no one. We still need sponsors for many days in 2015, so please consider sponsoring a day or two. Just click on the “Donate” button on the lower left side of this webpage, or contact us at


Hello, I’m Alice Enevoldsen, coming to you not-so-live from Alice’s AstroInfo with a podcast about what’s up in the March 2015 skies … over the Southern Hemisphere.

How are you today? The seasons are starting to change this month, fall is on its way in.

I’ve got a special episode for you, as my fellow alum from Uni, Nate Freeman, is biking across the equator in Africa this week. I’ll tell you more about that at the end, but look up at the night sky tonight for these constellations and you can pretend you’re on a trans-continental bike ride too. I’m betting that most nights all you riders are too exhausted to spend much time stargazing, but maybe in between rest days you can enjoy some pristine dark skies.

So, some Notable Sky Objects and Events in March.

The Dawn spacecraft is arriving at the dwarf planet Ceres on 3/6.

The March Equinox is on March 20th at 22:45 UTC. In Oz and the surrounding areas that’ll be the morning of March 21st. Africa and South America will have the equinox on March 20th.

March 20th is also technically a supermoon, but it is also a New Moon.

It isn’t in March, but it is before my next update: there’s a Lunar Eclipse on April 4th. That’ll be evening in Australia and other points West of the Pacific Ocean, morning if you’re on the East edge of the Pacific. There’s a link for more information in the transcript.

Did something catch your eye and make you ask “Hey, what’s that?” when you were out stargazing? That’s why I’m here

Is it shortly before dawn and you’re looking high in the sky? That’s either Saturn or Spica. Spica twinkles, Saturn does not.

Is it evening? Then you’re seeing Venus or Jupiter. Venus is low on the Western horizon, chasing its way after the sunset. Jupiter is on the opposite side of the sky, maybe halfway up from the Northeastern horizon.

If you’re seeing a bright object in the evening sky and it is in neither of those locations, you’re seeing one of the half-dozen brightest stars of the summer/fall sky. Check for twinkling. If it twinkles, it is a star.

The lineup of Evening Constellations doesn’t gain any big bright ones this month, but Libra and Coma Bernices (Bernice’s Hair) do join the ranks.

Those of you with Telescopes and Binoculars, I’d be looking at the Beehive Cluster in Cancer. Jupiter will be right next door, and on March 30th so will the Moon.

And because no sky update is complete without the Moon, here is a quick overview of the upcoming Moon Phases, dates adjusted for Sydney, Australia.

The next full moon will be March 6th and after that April 4th. It rises around sunset, and sets around sunrise.

The last quarter moon is March 14th. For the week around the last quarter moon it is visible in the early morning sky.

The day of the new moon, March 20th, you won’t see the Moon at all, but a day before or after you might see a tiny sliver of a crescent Moon as the Sun rises or sets, and a few days outside of that the Moon will be up all day.

The first quarter moon, March 27th, is ideal for late afternoon and early evening observation.

Time for a sidebar on the Out in Africa Ride

As I promised, a little more about Nate Freeman’s bike trip across Africa, the Out in Africa Ride. Nate was one of the Physics-Astronomy majors a year ahead of me at Whitman College, and, as the overachiever that he has always been, is now a lawyer most recently working at the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Right now he’s bicycling all the way across Africa from Egypt to South Africa with a group of other marathoners. (I’m crazy jealous of the stargazing opportunities when they’re far between cities).

He’s doing this trip to identify and support nonprofit groups throughout Africa who are working to fight homophobia, eliminate stigma, and provide legal protection to LGBT people. The Out in Africa ride mission statement begins: “The criminalization of same-sex relationships in Africa is currently widespread and alarming.” If you’re not aware of this problem, it goes so far as to include the death penalty under certain circumstances in three countries. Through this intense bike ride, Nate and the directors of the project will be raising funds to support the Human Rights Awareness and Promotion Forum in Uganda and the Gay and Lesbian Network in South Africa. … and I just realized, this very moment, what a pun it is that I am recording this podcast from quite literally in my closet. It’s the place with the least echo-y acoustics.

Anyway: you can follow Nate’s trip at

Well! Thanks for tuning in: I hope I gave you some things for which to keep your eyes peeled.

For those of you who haven’t listened before I’m here as a foil for Ralph and Paul with Awesome Astronomy and their monthly 365 Days of Astronomy, International Year of Light podcast about what’s up in the skies over the Northern Hemisphere.

This podcast is based at 33°S, so it should be good anywhere from about 25°S to 50°S. This will include major cities in Australia, New Zealand, and southern Africa, as well as the parts of South America south of Paraguay.

I’ll add some of my favorite planning links to the end of the transcript for you as usual. If you have suggestions, things that you’d like me to add to the “What’s up Tonight, Southern Skies Edition,” please leave them in the comments!

Once again, I’m Alice Enevoldsen. You can find me online as AlicesAstroInfo on Twitter, Facebook, and

Bye! See you later!

Useful Links:
Heavens-Above Starcharts for anywhere, anytime, no installation required
Stellarium Free planetarium-style program for your computer or tablet
7Timer – Clear sky charts (will it be clear enough for stargazing?). Input your location, then click on “ASTRO” in the pop-up.
Monthly Sky Guides from Sydney Observatory

End of podcast:

365 Days of Astronomy

The 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast is produced by NUCLIO. Audio post-production by Richard Drumm. Bandwidth donated by and wizzard media. You may reproduce and distribute this audio for non-commercial purposes. Please consider supporting the podcast with a few dollars (or Euros!). Visit us on the web at or email us at This year we celebrate cosmic light as light is our info messenger in the universe. Join us and share your story to celebrate the International Year of Light. Until tomorrow! Goodbye!

About Alice Enevoldsen

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4 Responses to Mar 3rd: What’s Up Tonight! Southern Skies March 2015 Edition

  1. Ido. March 8, 2015 at 5:11 am #

    Great article Avivah! From your friends at the Bareket observatory in Israel.

    • avivah yamani March 9, 2015 at 6:34 am #

      Hi Ido. Nice to see you here. 🙂

  2. W.T. Bridgman March 4, 2015 at 7:14 am #

    Another useful resource for southern sky observers:
    Moon Phases and Libration, 2015. South Up edition

    • avivah yamani March 9, 2015 at 6:36 am #

      thank you