Solar, lunar eclipses in store
for stargazers in March — Pagasa

March 1 2016 5:43 PM

A solar and a lunar eclipse will be among the heavenly sights in store for stargazers this March, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said.

In its astronomical diary for March, Pagasa also said the vernal equinox where night and day would be about the same length, would be on March 20.

On March 9, there will be a total solar eclipse but will be visible only across East Asia, Northern and Western Australia and Oceania.

In the Philippines, the event will be seen as a partial solar eclipse, with Mindanao areas likely to have a good view.

“The Mindanao areas will have a good view of the partial solar eclipse, having an eclipse obscuration of up to 80 percent while the Luzon and the Visayas areas’ eclipse obscuration ranges from 30-60 percent and 60-70 percent, respectively,” Pagasa said.

A partial eclipse of the Moon will occur on March 23, when the Moon enters the penumbra at 5:37 p.m. The partial eclipse will end at 9:57 p.m.

It can also be observed in America, Oceania, Australasia and Asia.

Vernal equinox

Pagasa said the vernal equinox would occur at 12:30 p.m. of March 20, Philippine time.

This will mark the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere.

Planets

Jupiter will be located at about 9 degrees above the eastern horizon an hour after sunset at the start of March, and will be lying among the stars of the constellation Leo. It will be visible at nighttime throughout March.

Uranus will lie among the background stars of the constellation Pisces. Mars will rise before midnight at the beginning of the month, among the background stars of the constellation Libra.

Saturn will rise after midnight and lie within the constellation of Ophiuchus. Venus will be low in the eastern horizon before sunrise during the month, among the background stars of the constellation Capricornus.

Mercury will remain low in the east south eastern horizon at the beginning of the month as it continues to slide down the horizon. It will be out for observation at the beginning of the second week of March.

Neptune remains unobservable due to its proximity to the Sun as viewed from Earth, Pagasa said.

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