March 19 – April 1, 2018
Mount Washington — Spring begins tomorrow when the Sun crosses the celestial equator from the southern to the northern hemisphere; the precise moment is 12:15 p.m. EDT. Take part in the Vernal Equinox by observing sunrise due east at 6:56 a.m., sunset due west at 7:05 p.m. and the Sun at its highest point at midday, 1:05 p.m. EDT.
While the Sun’s heightening arc heralds the new season, a delicate crescent moon above the setting Sun this evening and, in the coming days, begins a new moon cycle. Find planet Venus below and to the right of the moon. With the aid of binoculars, it might be possible to see Mercury slightly above and to the right of the goddess planet today. Mercury is fast disappearing from the evening sky.
The waxing moon reaches full phase at 8:37am on Saturday the 31st. The second full moon of the month, it is the second Blue Moon of 2018. Each year, the Passover holiday begins on the evening after the first full moon that follows the spring equinox and Easter begins on the first Sunday after the full moon that follows the Equinox. This year, the two holidays are as close as possible on our calendars: Passover begins on March 31 and Easter on April 1.
Earth Hour, a worldwide movement for the protection of planet Earth, convenes for one hour a year: Wherever you are, all are invited to focus on shared reverence for the Earth and how to further efforts to care for our home planet. A call to action and sense of community is promoted by the simple act of, in unison, shutting off electric lights from 8:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. this coming Saturday, the 24th. Please go to https://www.earthhour.org/ to learn more.
Always a profoundly moving experience for this denizen of the cosmos, the annual Northeast Astronomy Forum, billed as the “World’s Largest Astronomy and Space Expo,” takes place April 21 and 22 at Rockland Community College in Suffern, New York. In advance of a detailed schedule, please see the illustrations, captions and Resources section to become acquainted with the work of NEAF’s headlined presenter, Nobel laureate John C. Mather, in addition to the rest of the line-up.
NEAF 2018 is April 21 & 22. Video introduction from last year’s NEAF:
NEAF program lead presenter, John Mather
Stephen Hawking obituary – https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/14/obituaries/stephen-hawking-dead.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=photo-spot-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news
Opportunities to Participate
March 24, 8:30 – 9:30 p.m. EARTH HOUR – https://www.earthhour.org/
April 21 & 22 – Northeast Astronomy Forum, Suffern, NY – http://www.rocklandastronomy.com/neaf.html
April 19 & 20 – Northeast Astro-Imaging Conference, Suffern, NY – http://www.rocklandastronomy.com/neaf.html