MARCH  Program #1: “JUPITER”

The solar system’s largest planet (by far) is high in Lincoln’s evening sky this month, and a prime target for the Hyde telescopes.  This program shows closeups of the giant planet and its moons as seen by satellite probes and describes their scientific findings about this extraordinary region of our solar system.


MARCH  Program #2:  “The Winter Constellations”

A tour of the evening sky above Lincoln, Nebraska during the frigid winter months:  Perfect viewing weather when it’s not snowing.   Running time:  20 minutes.


Venus.  Shining brightly in the west after sunset, and getting a little higher in the sky with each passing night.  In telescopes, it exhibits a gibbous phase.

Mars.  In March, Mars is below Venus in the west after sunset, and moves downward towards the sun as the month progresses.  By the end of March, it sets 1-1/2 hours before Venus.  It appears very small in a telescope, and is so low in the sky that it suffers from distortion and “squirming” caused by looking through so much of Earth’s atmosphere to see it.  Not a good time for Mars.

Jupiter.  It is well up in the East at sunset and stays in the sky almost all night.  Earth is moving away from Jupiter right now, so it gets slightly smaller and dimmer during March, but it still dominates our night sky.

The Moon.  Full on March 5 (it is the smallest full moon of 2015).   It will be an object in the Hyde telescopes for about a week after Full, then moves into the pre-dawn sky until after New Moon on the 20th.  As the moon then grows from crescent to first quarter in the west after sunset towards the end of the month, it is an excellent time to look at it in a telescope.

Deep sky objects (nebulae and galaxies).  Available for viewing on most nights except around full moon.