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Jupiter dazzles all night

Jupiter shines brilliantly all night as it reaches opposition and peak visibility this month; meanwhile, lucky observers in Indonesia can witness a total solar eclipse March 9.
Jupiter
March brings the onset of spring and the return of warmer weather to much of North America. The balmy conditions should prove enticing for observers eager to sample the planetary treasures that were largely lacking during winter’s cold nights. The stars of the show are Jupiter and Mars. The former hits its peak in March and remains visible all night while the latter dominates the morning sky as it enters prime viewing season. And don’t overlook stunning Saturn, which shares the predawn stage with Mars.

Let’s begin our monthly tour in the western sky as darkness falls. You’ll need binoculars if you want to spot Uranus. On March 1, the ice giant world stands nearly 20° above the horizon as the last hints of twilight fade away.

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