Podcaster: Rob Webb

Title: Last Minute Astronomer January 2024

Organization: Physics teacher at Pequea Valley High School

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follow me : @MrWebbPV on Twitter ; @lastminuteastronomer on Facebook 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.


March of 2024: Spring will start, Venus gets real close to Saturn, Jupiter is on its way out, and the mornings tease us with some challenging encounters between 3 planets. 

Today’s sponsor:  Big thanks to our Patreon supporters this month: Rob Leeson, David Bowes, Brett Duane, Benett Bolek, Mary Ann, Frank Frankovic, Michael Freedman, Kim Hay, Steven Emert, Frank Tippin, Rani Bush, Jako Danar, Joseph J. Biernat, Nik Whitehead, Michael W, Cherry Wood, Steve Nerlich, Steven Kluth, James K Wood, Katrina Ince, Phyllis Foster, Don Swartwout, Barbara Geier, Steven Jansen, Donald Immerwahr

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March of 2024: Spring will start, Venus gets real close to Saturn, Jupiter is on its way out, and the mornings tease us with some challenging encounters between 3 planets. 

     I’m Rob, your Last Minute Astronomer, bringing astronomy to normies and nerds, with little time to spare.  As usual, we’ll start by talking about where the naked eye planets are this month, move on to the lunar phases, and finish up with a calendar of events, so you can plan ahead better than me. 

Naked-eye PLANETS


Jupiter – SUPER bright in the SW, about halfway up the sky, setting before 11pm.  Just find the brightest point of light in that direction, and you’ve got it.  By month’s end, it’ll only be 30˚ above the W horizon and set around 10pm.

Throughout the night



Mars, Saturn, Venus – MAYBE by March 31st, you’ll be able to see all three of these planets in the morning before sunrise.  On the 31st, Venus (the brightest) will be 5˚ above the horizon, Saturn about 5˚ up and to the right, and Mars about 5˚ up and to the right of that.  The challenge will be how bright the sky gets at sunrise at 6:50am and how low the planets are. 


Last Quarter Moon – 3rd (Visible midnight into the morning)

Morning Crescents (look East in the AM)

New Moon – 10th (darkest skies)

Evening Crescents (look West after Sunset)

First Quarter Moon – 17th (Visible until midnight)

Evening Gibbous (Mostly lit, after Sunset)

Full Moon – 25th (Visible all night)

Waning Gibbous (Mostly lit, rises later at night)

7th – 8th – CLOSE ENCOUNTER – Moon, Venus, Mars – Get out between 5:30am and 6:30am and get a very clear look at the SE horizon.  During that hour, you should be able to see the Moon as a VERY thin crescent, with Venus very bright and 20˚ to the left of the Moon on the 7th.  It’ll probably be too bright, but Mars will be in between the two, a little closer to Venus. Then, on the 8th, the Moon will move to be below Venus and Mars, making a very nice almost equilateral triangle.

13th – CLOSE ENCOUNTER – Moon, Jupiter – Get out after sunset, look W, and the Moon will be only 3˚ to the right of Jupiter.  

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

22nd – CLOSE ENCOUNTER – Saturn, Venus – Just after 6:30am, if you can catch Venus rising in the East, Saturn will be less than 2˚ to the right.

25th – Penumbral Lunar Eclipse – Only a very slight dimming of the Moon. 

And that’s the sky for March of 2024.  If you find this advance notice of the night sky helpful, please support this work by finding Last Minute Astronomer on Patreon, and don’t forget to follow Last Minute Astronomer on Facebook and Instagram.  Till next month, I’m the Last Minute Astronomer wishing you fruitful plans and clear skies. Music was produced by Deep Sky Dude and used with permission. 

End of podcast:

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