Pocaster: Rob Webb

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Title: Observing With Webb March 2023

Organization: Physics teacher at Pequea Valley High School

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follow me : @MrWebbPV on Twitter and Instagram

Don’t forget this podcast is found on my Podbean page, Stitcher, and iTunes.  There’s also a video version on my YouTube Channel and I can be found on Twitter and Instagram as @mrwebbpv. The Pequea Valley Planetarium and its events and updates are on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as @pvplanetarium.

Use a sky map from to help you out.


Venus bright all month, Jupiter disappears, Mars hangs out with Taurus, Saturn begins its morning planet season, and Mercury peaks in for a taste of the action toward the end of the month.

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Venus bright all month, Jupiter disappears, Mars hangs out with Taurus, Saturn begins its morning planet season, and Mercury peaks in for a taste of the action toward the end of the month.

         Welcome to Observing With Webb, where a high school astronomy teacher tells you what you’re looking at, why it’s so cool, and what you should check out later this month…at night. 

Naked-eye PLANETS


  • Venus – Look W after sunset. It’ll be the brightest object and probably the first “star” you’ll see, about 30˚ above the horizon and will get a little bit higher each night.  
  • Jupiter – Bright in the W after sunset, below Venus, but only for the first two weeks or so.  Just find the brightest point of light in that direction (Venus) and find the second brightest light below that, and you’ve got it. Sets between 8:00pm and 8:30pm.
  • Mars – Look SW and almost straight up, for a dull reddish dot in the sky, above Orion and around the extended horns of Taurus.
  • Mercury – Only the last couple of days in March, look West after sunset and you might find dim Mercury juuuust above the horizon.  On the 27th, Mercury is just to the right of Jupiter.  After that, Mercury moves higher, and Jupiter lower.

Throughout the night

  • Mars – Look SW early in the evening, West around midnight. Sets around 2:00am.


  • Saturn – By the end of the month, Saturn will be just above the ESE horizon in the early mornings, and rising earlier every day after.


Evening Gibbous (Mostly lit, after Sunset)

Full Moon7th (Visible all night)

Waning Gibbous (Mostly lit, rises later at night)

Last Quarter Moon – 14th (Visible midnight into the morning)

Morning Crescents (look East in the AM)

New Moon – 21st (darkest skies)

Evening Crescents (look West after Sunset)

First Quarter Moon – 28th (Visible until midnight)

12th – Daylight Savings Time Begins at 2am

20thSpring Equinox – Astronomically the first day of Spring, even though meteorologically Spring starts in the beginning of March.  Here’s some more info.

22nd – 24th CLOSE ENCOUNTER – Moon, Jupiter, Venus – On the evening of Wednesday the 22nd, look West right after sunset.  You’ll likely see Venus first, being very, very bright. About 20˚ below Venus will be a RIDICULOUSLY thin crescent Moon, with Jupiter just 1˚ to the right of the Moon. You’ll definitely need a clear horizon and skies for this one. On Thursday the 23rd, the Moon will move to be only about 6˚ below Venus and 14˚ above Jupiter. Then on Friday evening, the bigger and higher Moon will be about 6˚ above Venus.

27th – 28th CLOSE ENCOUNTER – Moon, Mars – Find the Moon on both of these nights, and Mars will be nearby.  On Monday the 27th, the Moon will be 7˚ to the right of Mars, and then switch sides on the following night.


Use a sky map from to help you out.

After Dinner:

Orion & his winter companions –By 7pm, Orion is about as high as it will get for the night about halfway up the southern sky, tempting us to tour the winter constellations. Begin by finding Orion by looking for three stars in almost a straight line and close to each other, Orion’s Belt, which is surrounded by a bigger, vertical, almost rectangle of stars. Orion will be our guidepost for the other winter constellations. Start at the left belt star and draw a straight line connecting them, then continue that line far past the last belt star about 20˚ or two fist-widths held at arm’s length. There you’ll find the V constellation Taurus, with bright red Aldebaran at the top left of the V. Taurus is part of a big cluster of stars known as the Hyades.  Remember that line you just made? Follow it just 10˚ further (one fist-width) and you’ll find a mini-mini-dipper of stars call the Pleiades, which is another open cluster of stars within our Milky Way Galaxy. Let’s go back to the belt, but draw the connecting line from right to left, and continue about 20˚ past the belt, where you’ll find the brightest star in the sky, Sirius. Perhaps you can also see the constellation Canis Major, known as the big dog. We’ll stop there for this month, and pick up next month with Gemini, Auriga, and Canis Minor.

Before Bed:

Auriga, Gemini – Look almost straight up, and you’ll find a pentagon shaped constellation which is the Charioteer Auriga, with its brightest star Capella. Gemini, the twins, will be to the left of Auriga, with bright Castor and Pollux heading them up. For reference, Orion will be below both of them.

Before Work:

Big Dipper, Bootes, Virgo – The Big Dipper should be easy to find in the NW. Follow the curve of his tail or handle to the next bright star you see, about 30˚ away, which is Arcturus. “Follow the arc to Arcturus.” That’s the brightest star in Bootes, which looks like a kite. Take that same curve, and follow it about another 20˚ to “speed on to Spica”, the brightest star in Virgo, one of my favorite constellations, since it reminds me of the Dickinson Mermaid.

End of podcast:

365 Days of Astronomy

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