Constellations For March: Here’s What Is Visible and Bright

No matter whether you’re an amateur astronomer, student, or person with a curious mind, you may be wondering which constellations may be visible and bright come March?

Continue reading to discover more about which constellations are visible in March, how these constellations may appear, their myths, locations and more.

Constellations For March: Summary

Cancer the Crab, Canis Minor the Little Dog, Carina the Keel, Pyxis the Compass, Vela the Sails, and Volans the Flying Fish are among the top six constellations to view in March. Two Messier objects, both open star clusters, may also be found in Cancer during this month. 

Cancer the Crab

Early in the spring, in the month of March, the crab constellation Cancer can be seen from the northern hemisphere at latitudes ranging from 90 to -60 degrees. 

It is also one of the zodiac’s thirteen constellations which indicates that it is located along the route that the Sun takes in the sky during the year.

Ptolemy, the Greek astronomer, first recorded the 48 constellations during his studies and Cancer is among them.

Its Latin name means “the crab” since it is thought to represent the crab in Hercules’ narrative of the twelve labors.

Hera sent it to divert Hercules’ attention away from his battle with the Hydra.

When Hercules attempts to kill the crab, he kicks it so forcefully that it is launched into the sky among the stars.

In another rendition, the crab tried to capture Hercules’ toe, but Hercules crushed it under his foot.

As a result, the cancer constellation was thought by certain ancient societies to represent the portal through which spirits went from Heaven to Earth when they were born into human bodies.

The Messier Objects in Cancer

Two Messier Objects can also be found in Cancer.

M44, often known as the Beehive Cluster, is the most well-known of them.

It’s also known as Praesepe, and it’s a 200-star open cluster that looks like a swarm of bees.

M67, on the other hand, is an open cluster with over 100 stars.

A handful of additional faint, deep-sky objects may only be spotted with giant introspective telescopes in this constellation. 

Canis Minor the Little Dog

From December through April, the constellation Canis Minor, or the small dog, is visible in the northern hemisphere at latitudes between 90 and -75 degrees.

Canis Minor is a minor constellation with an extent of approximately 183 square degrees, making it the 71st largest of the 88 constellations visible in the night sky. 

Canis Minor is yet another of the 48 constellations first recorded by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the second century.

Its Latin name translates to “lesser dog.”

Along with its bigger companion, Canis Major, it depicts the lesser of Orion’s two hunting hounds.

Carina the Keel

Carina, the keel, is a constellation visible south of 15 degrees latitude and entirely below the horizon north of 39 degrees latitude.

Carina is a medium-sized constellation with a 494-square-degree area, which makes it the 34th largest of the 88 constellations visible in the night sky. 

Carina used to be a member of the Argo Navis constellation.

This bigger constellation symbolized Jason and the Argonauts’ magnificent ship on their quest for the golden fleece.

Ptolemy, the Greek astronomer, initially classified Argo Navis as one of the 48 constellations in the second century.

Carina is known for being the home of the brilliant star Canopis, which is considered the second brightest star in the sky, as well as the brightest star in the constellation.

Canopis is a blue-white supergiant star located around 310 light-years from Earth that is 13,600 times brighter than the Sun.

Pyxis the Compass

The compass constellation Pyxis is found in the southern hemisphere of the sky.

However, from early January through March, it is entirely visible in latitudes south of 530 degrees.

Pyxis is a tiny constellation that takes over 221 square degrees of sky.

It is also the 65th largest of the 88 constellations visible in the night sky.

Hydra to the north, Puppis to the west, Vela to the south, and Antlia to the east are its neighbours.

Vela the Sails

Vela, or the sails, is a constellation in the southern hemisphere of the sky.

However, from January through March, it is entirely visible in latitudes south of 30 degrees.

Vela is considered a medium-sized constellation with a 500-square-degree area and is the 32nd largest of the 88 constellations visible in the night sky.

Vela is a Latin word that means “sails” and used to be a component of the larger constellation Argo Navis.

The Argo Navis symbolizes the magnificent ship the Argonauts sailed during their quest for the golden fleece.

As a result, Ptolemy, the Greek astronomer, initially classified Argo Navis as one of the 48 constellations in the second century.

Vela is home to a number of stars, all of which are contain magnitudes brighter than 3.

With a visual magnitude of 1.83, Suhail al Muhlif, is considered the brightest star in the Vela constellation.

As a result, Suhail al Muhlif is a multiple-star system with at least six stars and is located approximately 336 light-years away from Earth.

Volans the Flying Fish

The flying fish constellation, Volans, is mostly seen in the southern hemisphere of the sky.

However, it is entirely visible from December through February in latitudes south of 15 degrees.

Volans is a tiny constellation with only 141 square degrees of surface area.

It is the 76th largest of the 88 constellations visible in the night sky.

Final Thoughts

The best six constellations to see in March are Cancer the Crab, Canis Minor the Little Dog, Carina the Keel, Pyxis the Compass, Vela the Sails, and Volans the Flying Fish.

During March, two Messier objects, both open star clusters, may also be seen in Cancer.

Whether you’re an amateur astronomer, a student, or just someone with a curious mind, don’t miss your chance to see constellations you would otherwise miss for the rest of the year this March.

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