With winter's chill fading away, this is a great time to gaze up into the stars — and to be ready for an evening appearance by fleet-footed Mercury. This month's astronomy podcast guides you around the nighttime sky.

Mercury & Venus in March 2018 480p
Look soon after sunset to spot Mercury and Venus closely paired above the western horizon. Mercury looks best around mid-month.
Sky & Telescope

March brings the equinox that marks the start of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, as well as a switch to daylight time in the U.S., Canada, and most of northern countries.

No matter what the clock shows, a stunning array awaits you overhead once the Sun sets! If the sky is clear, you should glimpse Venus lurking low in the twilight. Mercury is just above it — especially close by on the first few days of March.

This month's astronomy podcast highlights Sirius, the brightest star in the entire nighttime sky. It's also known as the Dog Star, a term apparently coined by ancient Egyptians, who worshiped the star as the spirit of the Nile River. And you'll find out why we refer to the hot, sticky days of July and August as the "dog days of summer."

There's plenty more to see and enjoy after the Sun goes down, so play or download this month's 8½-minute-long astronomy podcast (linked below).


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