Orion Continues to Shine
Constellation Orion is still well-placed in March skies for telescopic study. Check out bright nebula M42, also called the Orion Nebula, which is visible as the middle “star” of Orion’s “sword” just south of the three recognizable stars of Orion’s belt. After March, Orion will get lower and lower in the west, making it harder to see as the Sun moves eastward in the sky.
By about 9-10pm throughout March, Ursa Major, Leo, and the western edge of the Virgo galaxy cluster are high enough in the eastern sky to yield great views of some of our favorite galaxies. Take advantage of the New Moon on March 28th. Check out the bright pair of M81 and M82 just above the Big Dipper asterism. Look east of bright star Regulus in Leo to observe M65, M66, and NGC 3628. In the northeastern sky, check out the famous Whirlpool Galaxy (M51).