Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Tonight's Sky for March 30: Saturn and Mars Rise 45 Minutes Apart, Span 8 Degrees

Last night's feature was the Moon meeting up with Mars and Saturn. Well, the Moon's still in the area and how about some specifics for the planets tonight? Mars has been retrograding, or appearing to move backwards relative to the stars (this is an optical illusion caused by Earth passing the slower Mars as both planets travel around the Sun), all month. At the start of the month, Mars rose about 1 ½ hour ahead of Saturn, now it's only rising about 45 minutes ahead of the ringed wonder. If you haven't been paying attention to the converging planets (or have been unable to do so because of clouds), it's a good time to start as the converging will continue for another month or so before Mars appears to reverse course again, this time stopping before appearing to move with the stars yet again and open up some distance between itself and Saturn.

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