Primary Moon Phases: March 2021!

Hey, Sky Fans!

What’s happening? Happy new month! Wow, March already.

Let’s get right to it… and now the moment you’ve all been waiting for… the Moon’s primary phases for March 2021!

The Moon’s Primary Phases for March 2021!
  • Last (Third) Quarter: March 6 UTC / March 5 US EDT
  • New Moon: March 13
  • First Quarter: March 21
  • Full Moon: March 28

All of these are UTC and US Eastern, as well as plenty of other time zones, except for next week’s last quarter moon, which happens early enough in the morning UTC that it’s late at night March 5 in the US.

If you’re scratching your head a little, you’re not alone. Remember, phases are places. This means there’s an exact spot in the Moon’s orbit when it’s new or full or what have you. This month, the Moon is new at 10:21 UTC on the 13th and then full at 18:48 UTC on the 28th, according to the good folks down at Moon Giant. That means the Sun-Moon-Earth line for new and Sun-Earth-Moon lines are exactly right for those phases at those moments.

So, do we need to worry about when the exact moment of third-quarter-itude is; whether it’s on the 5th or the 6th? Probably not. If the Moon’s off to one side or the other a little bit, then, no, you’re right, it’s not that phase. True! But come on… are we really going to say there’s no third quarter for you if you don’t look at exactly the right moment? I won’t. That’s why I usually leave them out.

Let’s see. There’s not a lot happening with the Moon this month, I don’t think. No eclipses, no bright stars or planets are going to get occulted (blocked out) by the Moon. None of that jazz. Oh, wait! That’s not true! On the night of the 16th, the Moon’ll be near the planet Uranus, the {insert joke here} one, but you’ll need binoculars or a telescope to see it unless you have extraordinarily dark skies.

Then, a couple nights later, the Moon catches up with the Pleiades as it crosses into the Winter Hexagon. As it does it’ll zoom past the Pleiades cluster on the 18th and then Mars, the robots robots robots! one, on the 19th. Those two nights’ll be fantastic, but if, for some reason, you need to pick just one, my dime’s on the 18th. It’s a bit of a more delicate crescent, and it’ll be cool to see the little diamond that the Pleiades, Hyades, Moon and Mars will make together. How, as the kids (probably don’t) say, very.

We reach the March equinox on the 20th, which means the start of spring for the north. If you’re tuning in from the south, it’s the start of your autumn.

There’s a couple of other things happening this month, too, but we’ll get to those later.

I love this time of year in the skies. Let’s head out and take a look. Here’s hoping your March is better than last year’s was.

Thanks for stopping by, and clear skies, everyone!

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