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March New Moon Spotting - Another Lunar Boat

Started by curtrenz, 03/10/2010 03:59PM
Posted 03/10/2010 03:59PM Opening Post
Who will be the first to spot the March New Moon with naked eyes after sunset? Similar to last month this will present an opportunity for those of us north of the tropics to witness an unusual Lunar Boat, i.e. a crescent Moon in a U-shape. Some call it a Cheshire Cat smile. The Dark Moon will be in geocentric longitudinal conjunction with the Sun on 2010 MAR 15 at 21:01 UT (16:01 CDT). North Americans should have a good chance of sighting in the western sky a Moon just a little more than a day old shortly after sunset on March 16th. Bright Venus will serve as a guide about 7° to the left of the Moon.

I’ve created a graphic previewing the western sky from Chicagoland 25 minutes after sunset on March 16th. It should well serve most North American observers. It can be seen by clicking: then going to the Moon page.

Photos and descriptions of the March New Moon would be welcome additions to this thread. Please include the date, time, time zone and location. Good Luck!

Below is a Lunar Boat photo I took nearly a year ago from Arlington Heights, Illinois of the Moon aged 31:46 hrs on 2009 MAR 27.

For astronomical graphics, including
monthly wallpaper calendar, visit:

Curt Renz
Posted 03/17/2010 06:50PM | Edited 03/17/2010 06:51PM #1

I saw the new moon Tuesday evening from western Ohio. At first I tried to find it using binoculars to the north (right) of Venus. No good. I ran in the house and checked Starry Night, and found the moon pretty easily in the still bright twilight and lined it up with my neighbor's roof. I think the crescent actually was tilted a bit toward the south - I have never seen that here at 40 degrees north.

Ten minutes later, around 8:10 EDT, the moon was easily visible, including the earth-lit part of the moon with the naked eye. I can understand that with certain conditions, you should be able to see a moon considerably younger than this.

My son (with much better eyes than mine) could not find the moon at first, but when I pointed it out he saw it easily. He said unless you knew where to look, you would not notice it.

I can understand people possibly reporting this kind of moon apparition as a UFO! It appeared more like a straight line - a dash - than the crescent or U shape.

Thanks for the heads up, Curt.

Rick Wiseman

8" Zhumell Dob
90mm f11 achro refractor
4-1/2 f4 rich field newt reflector