March 2013 Night Photography Events Calendar

Each month I post a monthly night photography events calendar on the first day of the month. Events listed on the calendar are suitable for wide-field and moderate-telephoto astrophotography, as well as for general night photography. The calendar does not include events or subjects that are more suited to telescopes or extreme telephoto lenses. Unless otherwise stated, all events occur in the United States at mid-latitudes. Most of the events also occur at other locations, although some of them may require correction for latitude and longitude.

If you sign up for my free Night Photography News eNewsletter, you’ll receive each calendar two weeks early, on the 15th of the preceeding month. This will give you more time to plan your night shooting.

Times are Eastern Standard Time (UTC-5) until March 10, when Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4) begins.

All month Orion,  the night sky’s brightest and most prominent constellation, shines in the evening night sky. At the beginning of the month, it sets around midnight and by the end of the month, it sets soon after twilight.  It works well as either a complement to a night sky scene or as the prominent compositional element.
All month Jupiter is the brightest object in the night sky after the moon.
1 – 12 The zodiacal light is visible in the west after sunset from dark locations. See this blog post for more information.
7 – 20 Comet PanSTARRS is visible low on the western horizon after sunset. The comet may be visible a few days earlier than this, and for several weeks afterwards it slowly fades away as it moves farther away. The best views for photography will be begin on the 12th, the night after new moon, and continue until around the 17th. It will appear very low on the horizon, so you’ll need to find an unobstructed location from which to view. Watch for regular updates and photo tips on the Digital After Dark® blog.  
4 Third quarter moon at 4:53pm.
8 The crescent moon shines in the dawn twilight sky. 
9 The thin crescent moon shines low on the horizon in the dawn twilight sky
10 Daylight Savings Time begins at 2am. Most of the United States and Canada will set their clocks forward one hour.
10 A very thin crescent moon lies very low on the horizon in the dawn twilight sky.
11 New moon at 3:51pm.  Don’t forget, the best time to shoot the stars (either as pinpoints or star trails) is when there is no light pollution from the moon.
12 A very thin crescent moon shines very low on the horizon in the dusk twilight sky to the west. Look for Comet PanSTARRS to the left of the moon.
13 The thin crescent moon shines low on the horizon in the dusk twilight sky. Look for Comet PanSTARRS below the moon.
14 The crescent moon shines in the dusk twilight sky.  Comet PanSTARRS lies to the lower right of the moon.
17 Jupiter shines very close to the waxing crescent moon. Look to the west a couple hours after sunset.
17 Saint Patrick’s Day is observed. Major landmarks around the work have special green lighting displays to celebrate the holidays, providing terrific night photo opportunities. Google “turning green for saint patrick’s day 2013” to find something near you. 
19 First quarter moon at 1:27pm.
20 Spring begins in the Northern Hemisphere at 7:02am.
27 Full moon at 3:26pm.  Don’t forget, in addition to including the full moon as a complement to a landscape or urban scene, you can use the light from the full (or nearly full) moon to illuminate your scene.
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