Astronomy Guide March 2022

Dear Stargazer Friends,

I hope you have been well. In February I had the chance to spend a few days in the Swiss Alps. Luckily, there was one clear night, a great occasion to observe the sky and take pictures. The difference in the seeing between a clear night where I live and a clear night at an altitude of 2’000 m was just striking. Not only could I see more stars and other celestial objects, I could see them much more clearly. On the pictures I took with my DSLR there wasn’t a trace of the usual light pollution we have down here. 

In the Northern Hemisphere, Spring is just around the corner with Vernal Equinox on 20 March 2022 at 1533 UTC (beginning of Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere).

The “winter constellations” are still visible in the first part of the night in the West. But March is the ideal time to observe the constellations of Cancer and Leo. And you may have noticed over the past few nights that Red Giant Star Arcturus – in the constellation of Boötes – is visible again later in the evening low above the horizon in the East. Watch out for Spica in the constellation of Virgo (SE) and Vega in the constellation of Lyra around midnight (NE). 

As far as astrophotography is concerned, it’s time again for Messier 49 (cluster of galaxies in the constellations of Virgo & Coma Berenices), and the Coma Cluster (in Coma Berenices). And of course, for the Leo Triplet (M66 Group) and many more beautiful dark sky objects. 

Towards the end of March and depending on your horizon, watch out for Mars, Venus, Saturn and the Waxing Crescent Moon at dawn (SE).

While I’m writing these lines, a war has broken out in Europe. At the moment, the outlook is quite grim. But we must keep strong and confident. And we can always look at the night sky and hopefully get some comfort from looking at that vast universe we are part of.

Stay safe & Clear Skies!

The Leo Triplet (M66 Group) – Picture by Isabel Streit 2022

Meteor Showers in February

Nothing special to expect this month. Next show will be the Lyrids starting in mid-April.

Moon phases in March

New Moon02 March, 18:35
First Quarter10 March, 11:45
Full Moon18 March, 08:17 (Lenten Moon)
Third Quarter25 March, 06:37
Times CET
Ursa Major seen from the Swiss Alps, February 2022 – Picture by Isabel Streit 2022


For local times go to

Mercury is currently unobservable.

Venus is very well visible at dawn (SE).

Mars remains difficult to observe throughout March. On 12 March, it will occur at 4° S of Venus.

Jupiter is currently unobservable – until end of April when it becomes a morning object in the constellation of Pisces.

Saturn is currently in the constellation of Capricornus and remains unobservable until at lest mid/end March.

Uranus is visible until around 23 March in the Constellation of Aries (first part of the night).

Neptune is not visible in March.

Phenomena not to miss in March

Deep Sky Objects to observe in Spring: Virgo Cluster of Galaxies in Virgo; Leo Triplet (M66, M65 & NGC 3628), Coma Cluster in Coma Berenices, Messier 35, an Open Star Cluster in the constellation of Gemini.

07/08Pleiades N of Waxing Crescent Moon – early evening
16Venus 3.9°N of Mars at 05:00
20Vernal Equinox at 16:33 CET
23Venus and Mars appear close at dawn, S/SE
28Mars 4.1°N of Moon at dawn – together with Venus, depending on your horizon, a trio that will be observable until 5 April
29Venus & Saturn conjunction at 2° at dawn
Some phenomena in March

Bright Stars

Kaus Australis1.754h23m7h21m+8°46’45.30″10h19m
15 March 2022; Source:


NameMag.RiseTransitElev.SetAng. Size
M 66 (Leo Triplet)8.9217h14m0h16m+55°55’54.94″7h17m+0°06’39.00″
M 1068.411h14m+89°38’07.16″+0°12’54.00″
M 86 (Faust V051)8.9018h21m1h22m+55°53’09.78″8h23m+0°07’21.00″
M 498.3018h47m1h25m+50°56’35.28″8h04m+0°09’15.00″
M 87 (Virgo Galaxy)8.6318h28m1h26m+55°19’54.46″8h25m+0°07’00.00″
M 104 (Sombrero Galaxy)8.0020h23m1h35m+31°20’04.71″6h48m+0°06’06.00″
M 94 (Croc’s Eye Galaxy)8.2414h58m1h46m+84°02’54.71″12h35m+0°10’09.00″
M 64 (Black Eye Galaxy)8.5218h07m1h52m+64°37’19.56″9h37m+0°07’55.14″
M 63 (Sunflower Galaxy)8.5914h55m2h11m+84°57’40.06″13h27m+0°09’54.00″
M 51 (Whirlpool Galaxy)8.102h25m+89°44’51.32″+0°09’03.00″
M 83 (Southern Pinwheel Galaxy)7.5423h02m2h35m+13°08’35.61″6h07m+0°12’12.00″
M 101 (Pinwheel Galaxy)7.862h59m+82°42’18.42″+0°27’51.00″
NGC 6822 (Barnard’s Galaxy)8.103h43m8h42m+28°20’15.47″13h41m+0°14’30.00″
M 1108.072h26m13h38m+84°50’27.69″0h50m+0°16’27.00″
M 31 (Andromeda Galaxy)3.442h41m13h40m+84°25’31.60″0h39m+2°05’24.00″
M 328.082h52m13h40m+84°01’22.95″0h29m+0°07’30.00″
M 33 (Triangulum Galaxy)5.725h47m14h32m+73°49’14.72″23h16m+0°55’09.00″
M 77 (Cetus A)8.879h36m15h40m+43°08’44.91″21h45m+0°06’33.00″
NGC 24038.9020h32m+71°24’00.03″+0°17’06.00″
M 81 (Bode’s Galaxy)6.9422h51m+67°59’33.66″+0°20’30.00″
M 82 (Cigar Galaxy)8.4122h52m+67°22’43.02″+0°07’45.00″
15 March 2022; Source:

Clusters of Galaxies

Abell 118512.8015h37m0h06m+71°39’42.17″8h35m
Abell 131412.600h30m+88°00’16.12″
Abell 131812.200h31m+82°01’58.32″
Abell 1367 (Leo Cluster)11.6017h06m0h40m+62°38’09.37″8h15m
Abell 154111.3018h41m1h23m+51°45’48.55″8h05m
Abell 163111.0020h53m1h48m+27°32’12.28″6h43m
Abell 1656 (Coma Cluster)10.7017h31m1h55m+70°55’04.55″10h19m
Abell 358112.4023h11m3h03m+15°59’10.47″6h55m
Abell 2151 (Hercules Cluster)13.0021h36m5h01m+60°44’59.78″12h26m
Abell 215212.7021h43m5h01m+59°27’01.83″12h19m
Abell 219712.3018h39m5h24m+83°54’42.28″16h09m
Abell 219912.6119h06m5h24m+82°31’46.59″15h43m
Abell 231912.908h17m+87°03’11.33″
Abell 369812.405h29m9h33m+17°54’03.74″13h37m
Abell 263412.204h17m12h36m+70°12’07.32″20h55m
Abell 266612.304h28m12h48m+70°19’12.03″21h08m
Abell 194 (Cetus Cluster)11.608h24m14h23m+41°48’52.35″20h22m
Abell 26212.105h15m14h51m+79°17’47.46″0h26m
Abell 56911.8020h04m+88°21’40.31″
Abell 77911.5013h06m22h15m+76°43’11.13″7h24m
Abell 95712.8017h11m23h11m+42°01’48.37″5h10m
Abell 114212.8017h06m23h56m+53°29’56.70″6h46m
15 March 2022; Source:

Messier Objects

NameMag.RiseTransitElev.SetAng. Size
M 40 (Winnecke 4)9.651h21m+78°59’08.47″
M 1037.4014h31m+76°11’06.18″+0°03’00.00″
M 34 (Spiral Cluster)5.2015h40m+85°52’42.28″+0°12’30.00″
M 81 (Bode’s Galaxy)6.9422h55m+67°59’01.91″+0°20’30.00″
M 82 (Cigar Galaxy)8.4122h55m+67°22’12.97″+0°07’45.00″
M 97 (Owl Nebula)9.900h14m+82°02’47.05″+0°03’21.00″
M 1068.411h18m+89°34’53.09″+0°12’54.00″
M 51 (Whirlpool Galaxy)8.102h29m+89°33’54.86″+0°09’03.00″
M 101 (Pinwheel Galaxy)7.863h02m+82°41’43.51″+0°27’51.00″
M 102 (Spindle Galaxy)9.894h06m+81°15’36.67″+0°04’48.00″
M 926.406h17m+86°06’37.65″+0°07’00.00″
M 394.6010h28m+88°24’28.30″+0°15’30.00″
M 52 (Cassiopeia Salt-and-Pepper Cluster)6.9012h22m+75°14’13.03″+0°08’00.00″
M 41 (Little Beehive Cluster)4.5015h15m19h44m+22°18’20.18″0h13m+0°19’30.00″
M 42 (Great Orion Nebula)4.0012h52m18h33m+37°41’24.63″0h14m+1°15’00.00″
M 43 (de Mairan’s Nebula)9.0012h52m18h33m+37°48’39.75″0h15m+0°17’30.00″
M 328.082h52m13h40m+84°01’35.00″0h28m+0°07’30.00″
M 31 (Andromeda Galaxy)3.442h41m13h40m+84°25’44.40″0h39m+2°05’24.00″
M 45 (Pleiades)1.208h44m16h45m+67°14’06.30″0h45m+1°50’00.00″
M 78 (Casper the Friendly Ghost Nebula)8.3012h40m18h45m+43°05’04.60″0h49m+0°07’00.00″
M 1108.072h25m13h38m+84°50’41.40″0h50m+0°16’27.00″
M 93 (Butterfly Cluster)6.2016h31m20h43m+19°10’56.45″0h54m+0°05’00.00″
M 50 (Heart-Shaped Cluster)5.9014h33m20h01m+34°41’53.86″1h29m+0°07’30.00″
M 474.4015h35m20h35m+28°32’33.44″1h35m+0°12’30.00″
M 466.1015h42m20h40m+28°12’48.41″1h38m+0°10’00.00″
M 1 (Crab Nebula)8.4010h45m18h33m+65°04’38.50″2h21m+0°06’00.00″
M 485.8015h33m21h12m+37°14’51.51″2h51m+0°15’00.00″
M 35 (Shoe-Buckle Cluster)5.1011h06m19h07m+67°22’28.57″3h08m+0°12’30.00″
M 36 (Pinwheel Cluster)6.009h21m18h35m+77°11’22.99″3h48m+0°05’00.00″
M 37 (January Salt-and-Pepper Cluster)5.609h51m18h51m+75°35’44.56″3h50m+0°07’30.00″
M 38 (Starfish Cluster)6.408h56m18h27m+78°54’22.09″3h58m+0°07’30.00″
M 67 (Golden-Eye Cluster)6.9014h54m21h50m+54°46’00.59″4h46m+0°12’30.00″
M 44 (Beehive Cluster)3.1014h04m21h39m+62°37’56.74″5h14m+0°35’00.00″
M 959.7316h47m23h43m+54°38’00.80″6h38m+0°03’00.00″
M 969.2516h50m23h46m+54°44’57.07″6h41m+0°06’24.00″
M 1059.7616h47m23h47m+55°30’36.06″6h46m+0°05’06.00″
M 66 (Leo Triplet)8.9217h18m0h19m+55°55’57.12″7h20m+0°06’39.00″
M 61 (Swelling Spiral Galaxy)9.6518h58m1h21m+47°25’00.62″7h44m+0°06’09.00″
M 498.3018h50m1h29m+50°56’31.36″8h07m+0°09’15.00″
M 99 (Virgo Cluster Pinwheel)9.8718h10m1h18m+57°21’16.25″8h26m+0°05’03.00″
M 86 (Faust V051)8.9018h24m1h25m+55°53’05.77″8h26m+0°07’21.00″
M 87 (Virgo Galaxy)8.6318h31m1h30m+55°19’50.05″8h28m+0°07’00.00″
M 589.6618h41m1h37m+54°45’29.61″8h33m+0°05’18.00″
M 899.7518h36m1h35m+55°29’44.45″8h34m+0°04’54.00″
M 100 (Blowdryer Galaxy)9.3518h07m1h22m+58°45’35.50″8h37m+0°06’51.00″
M 609.8018h48m1h43m+54°29’35.94″8h37m+0°06’42.00″
M 909.5418h34m1h36m+56°06’08.23″8h38m+0°06’57.00″
M 8510.0017h58m1h24m+61°07’39.17″8h51m+0°06’18.00″
M 537.7018h45m2h12m+61°06’32.09″9h39m+0°06’30.00″
M 64 (Black Eye Galaxy)8.5218h11m1h56m+64°37’10.97″9h41m+0°07’55.14″
M 36.2018h15m2h41m+71°19’03.79″11h08m+0°09’00.00″
M 94 (Croc’s Eye Galaxy)8.2415h01m1h50m+84°02’28.04″12h39m+0°10’09.00″
M 63 (Sunflower Galaxy)8.5914h59m2h15m+84°56’57.63″13h31m+0°09’54.00″
M 29 (Cooling Tower Cluster)6.6023h15m9h20m+81°38’48.66″19h25m+0°05’00.00″
M 77 (Cetus A)8.879h36m15h40m+43°08’44.91″21h45m+0°06’33.00″
M 74 (Phantom Galaxy)9.397h18m14h34m+58°57’11.33″21h50m+0°10’00.00″
M 798.5614h14m18h22m+18°35’30.74″22h30m+0°04’48.00″
M 33 (Triangulum Galaxy)5.725h46m14h31m+73°49’20.49″23h16m+0°55’09.00″
15 March 2022; Source:


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