KATHMANDU, MARCH 04
The month of March is special for Mars as it is the only planet which is visible in the evening sky this whole month; the other planets that were visible in the evening sky have joined team with morning sky planets at present.
Mars is high in the west these nights, and today as well. However, for a few days in the beginning of March, Mars will be seen alongside the Pleiades star cluster (also known as Seven Sisters), near the constellation Taurus, during the few hours after sunset.
According to earthsky.org, Mars was on conjunction with these Seven Sisters on March 3, 2021; this is the closest since January 20, 1991 and until 2038.
Near the Red Planet, there are two other red stars, competing with Mars in colour and brightness – Aldebaran is the alpha star of Taurus and Betelgeuse, the shoulder of Orion, which can make it hard for star gazers to distinguish them.
When we talk of Betelgeuse, we recall that astronomers had found out the reason for its sudden dimming through NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories last year. This was likely due to a cloud of dust ejected by the aging red giant, and while scientists think the star has moved to burning helium instead of hydrogen, in its core, they think it is unlikely for the star to explode in a supernova anytime soon, according to NASA.
To view these three red beauties in the night sky, wait until March 8 when Mars, Aldebaran and Betelgeuse will line up clearly to form a linear position, making it easy for us to distinguish these bodies.
March 9 will give us an opportunity to catch up with the morning planets, when the waning crescent Moon and the planets Saturn, Jupiter, and Mercury will appear near the horizon from the southeast to the east-southeast. You can follow these bodies in the morning sky before March 9, and yet, later in the second half of March, Jupiter and Saturn will re-emerge in the pre-dawn sky, but not as close as it was during the great conjunction.