The Witches Astronomy Journal for Wednesday, March 14th
Your Daily Sun & Moon Data for Wednesday, March 14th
Sun Direction: ↑ 100.37° E
Sun Altitude: 9.56°
Sun Distance: 92.423 million mi
Next Equinox: Mar 20, 2018 11:15 am (Vernal)
Sunrise Today: 7:06 am↑ 92° East
Sunset Today: 7:00 pm↑ 268° West
Length of Daylight: 11 hours, 54 minutes
Moon Direction: ↑ 134.04° SE
Moon Altitude: 22.79°
Moon Distance: 248121 mi
Next New Moon: Mar 17, 20188:11 am
Next Full Moon: Mar 31, 20187:36 am
Next Moonset: Today4:23 pm
The Moon is in Aquarius
The Moon is waning and in its Waning Crescent phase.
The Last Quarter Moon occurred on the 9th and the New Moon will occur on March 17th.
Mercury is in its pre-retrograde shadow (Mercury will retrograde from March 22nd to April 15th).
**Times are Eastern Standard Time (EDT).
Moon in Aquarius
The Moon is traveling through Aquarius today. Go against the grain. Fight for a cause. Stand up for the underdog.
Attraction to all that is new and unusual, and an instinctive need for improvement, characterize the Moon in Aquarius. Reactions are more intellectual than emotional, and interactions are more impersonal than personal, under this influence. This is a time that promotes social gatherings, dealing with group ideals and goals for the future, brainstorming, new ideas, and progressive changes. We are open to new methods of doing things and we have our eye on the future. It can be hard to stick to schedules now, as personal freedom is most important to us.
The Moon in Aquarius generally favors the following activities: Unusual or radical undertakings, social pursuits, group projects, trying something new, joining a group.
The sky this week for March 14 to 18
Mars and Saturn flank the Moon, Jupiter shines in Libra, and Mercury reaches peak altitude in the sky this week.
By Richard Talcott
Wednesday, March 14
As midnight approaches, look to the east for the bright star Arcturus. At magnitude 0.0, it is the second-brightest star visible from mid-northern latitudes. If you look about 20° to the left and a little below this luminary, you should see a conspicuous semicircle of stars — the constellation Corona Borealis the Northern Crown. It’s the most prominent group of stars having a shape reminiscent of a circle, and it makes a fitting target for Pi Day. (For you non-geeks, Pi Day is 3/14 because the first three digits of the mathematical constant pi are 3.14. Pi is the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, so today we celebrate all things circular.)
For those of you in the Southern Hemisphere, today marks the peak of the annual Gamma Normid meteor shower. The shower’s radiant — the point from which the meteors appear to originate — lies among the background stars of the southern constellation Norma the Square. This region lies below the horizon for observers north of 40° north latitude, but those farther south should keep their eyes open. The best views will come after midnight, once the radiant climbs higher. Fortunately, the waning crescent Moon sheds little light into the predawn sky. The shower typically produces about 6 meteors per hour at its peak.
Thursday, March 15
Mercury reaches greatest elongation at 11 a.m. EDT, and tonight marks the peak of its best evening apparition of 2018 for Northern Hemisphere observers. The innermost planet lies 18° east of the Sun and stands 12° high in the west a half-hour after sunset. It shines at magnitude –0.4 and shows up well against the darkening sky. But the easiest way to find it is to locate brilliant Venus and then look 4° to the upper right. The two inner planets fit nicely in a single binocular field of view. A view of Mercury through a telescope reveals an 7″-diameter disk that appears slightly less than half-lit. (Venus spans 10″ and is nearly full.)
Use brilliant Venus as a guide to locating Mercury as it reaches its peak altitude for the year in mid-March.
Friday, March 16
One of the sky’s largest asterisms — a recognizable pattern of stars separate from a constellation’s form — occupies center stage after darkness falls on March evenings. To trace the so-called Winter Hexagon, start with southern Orion’s luminary, Rigel. From there, the hexagon makes a clockwise loop. The second stop is brilliant Sirius in Canis Major. Next, pick up Procyon in the faint constellation Canis Minor, then the twins Castor and Pollux in Gemini, followed by Capella in Auriga, Aldebaran in Taurus, and finally back to Rigel.
Saturday, March 17
New Moon occurs at 9:12 a.m. EDT. At its New phase, the Moon crosses the sky with the Sun and so remains hidden in our star’s glare.
Mercury and Venus have their second close conjunction of March this evening. Innermost Mercury passes 4° due north (upper right) of its neighbor at 9 p.m. EDT.
Sunday, March 18
With an age of 4.5 billion years, “young” might not seem an appropriate word to describe our Moon. But tonight, you have an exceptional opportunity to see what astronomers call a “young Moon” — a slender crescent visible in the early evening sky. With New Moon having occurred yesterday morning, only 2 percent of our satellite’s disk appears illuminated after sunset tonight. It forms a spectacular trio with Venus 4° to its right and Mercury 4° farther away. You should notice an ashen light faintly illuminating the Moon’s dark side. This is “earthshine,” sunlight reflected by Earth that reaches the Moon and then reflects back to our waiting eyes.
Overview of the Planets and Stars for Wednesday,March 14th
Jupiter forms a semi-square with Saturn today, and this is the second of three of these longer-term aspects in a series, the first of which was in December 2017. The third and final Jupiter-Saturn semi-square will occur in September. This is a time when we’re reminded of the stop-and-go or ebb and flow nature of long-term projects. This is not the time to take shortcuts. Moves that are too big seem to meet with obstacles now, so it’s a time for taking baby steps or for fixing mistakes and making edits before moving forward. Some re-structuring of our lives and our business goals is now in order.
Still, we’re attracted to new approaches and might find it difficult concentrating on lifeless or ordinary tasks later today with the Moon’s sextile to Uranus. It’s a good time for looking forward (with patience).
March 14: Cancer
Cancer, the crab, is well up in the east at nightfall. Although it is part of the zodiac, its stars are dim. The brightest, Beta Cancri, is so faint you may not be able to see it from a suburb, let alone a bright city.
March 15: Arcturus
One of spring’s most prominent stars is Arcturus, in the constellation Bootes, the herdsman. This yellow-orange star rises in the middle of the evening and soars high across the sky during the night.
March 16: New Moon
The Moon will be “new” early tomorrow as it crosses the line between Earth and the Sun. It is lost from sight in the Sun’s glare, but should return to view on Sunday, as a thin crescent quite low in the west at sunset.
March 17: Owl Nebula
The Owl Nebula stares out from the Big Dipper. It is a set of concentric bubbles of gas blown into space by a dying star. It’s round, and seen through a telescope or in photographs, it has two dark patches that look like an owl’s eyes.
March 18: Moon and Companions
The vanishingly thin crescent Moon has a couple of companions after sunset this evening, the planets Venus and Mercury. Venus is the “evening star,” to the right of the Moon. Much-fainter Mercury is about the same distance to the upper right of Venus.
March 19: Vernal Equinox
The Sun will cross the celestial equator tomorrow. The crossing marks the vernal equinox, which is the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere. It also marks the starting point for measuring the length of the year.
March 20: Winter Circle
Spring arrives in the northern hemisphere today, but the most prominent stars of winter remain in good view. They form a big loop known as the Winter Circle, which is in the southwestern quadrant of the sky this evening.
Your Cosmic Weather Report for March 12th thru March 28th
Jane Lyle, Astrologer
From The Astrology Room
On Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th March. Some limitations in love, art, fashion, money, and social events are the usual manifestations. Yet this isn’t always such a bad thing, it favours refinement, it says ‘less is more’. It could also be a helpful time to begin a diet, clear out your wardrobe, or experiment with some kind of digital detox.
If this all sounds too bleak, here’s a more charming Venus-and-Saturn thought:
‘Elegance is rare in the modern world, largely because it requires precision, attention to detail, and the careful development of a delicate taste in all forms of manners and style.’
Practising sorting the sheep from the goats with delicacy and precision is helpful preparation for later in March, when things take a more uncompromising, even dramatic turn.
A Bracing time
As the weeks pass, there’s no doubt that we’re in for an eventful, bracing time. It kicks in during the run-up to the end of March, culminating in the Easter weekend of 30th March – 2nd April.
On Wednesday 28th March – Thursday 29th March the Sun, newly vibrant in Aries, argues with Saturn in Capricorn. People in authority and government are tested, or must face up to very serious situations, and a great deal of effort or responsibility. In our own families, and at work, a similar story is told about those in charge, or senior family members. It can be a dynamic turning point.
Alongside this, Mars – ruling action and desire – moves towards meeting Time Lord Saturn in Capricorn – exact at the beginning of April. This is a weighty moment.
Mars and Saturn don’t align in the same sign again until 2020. The basic message of these two is ‘restricted action’. This means hard work, and heavy responsibilities – yet what’s achieved can last for a long time when the young warrior and the old king work together. Sport, finance, military plans, and legal matters are all in high focus this spring.
So, yes, it’s looking quite crunchy in the days leading up to a dynamic, possibly disruptive, Libran full Moon on 31st March on Easter Saturday.
These testing, push-me-pull-you days begin around Saturday, 24th March, when the mighty Sun challenges Mars, highlighting anger, impulsiveness, and confrontational events.
Uncompromising attitudes in our world continue to buffet us over the Easter weekend that follows. Such sobering, chillsome cosmic weather demands extra effort, discipline, and caution from everyone. This is the big astrological theme for March 2018.
If you, or someone close, have planets in Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn at around 7 – 10 degrees of those signs, prepare for a seriously grown-up phase this spring.
Your Current Moon Phase for Wednesday, March 14
The Moon today is in a Waning Crescent phase. In this phase the Moon’s illumination is growing smaller each day until the New Moon. During this phase the Moon is getting closer to the Sun as viewed from Earth and the night side of the Moon is facing the Earth with only a small edge of the Moon being illuminated. This phase is best viewed an hour or 2 before the sunrise and can be quite beautiful if you’re willing to get up early. It can also be a great time to see the features of the Moon’s surface. Along the edge where the illuminated portion meets the dark side, the craters and mountains cast long shadows making them easier to observe with a telescope or binoculars.
PHASE DETAILS FOR – WEDNESDAY, MARCH 14, 2018
Phase: Waning Crescent
Moon Age: 26.63 days
Moon Angle: 0.50
Moon Distance: 401,344.34 km
Sun Angle: 0.54
Sun Distance: 148,758,280.85 km