Settling into the northwest as evening descends, the Queen of the heavens, Cassiopeia, remains well placed for viewing, about one third of the way above the horizon. Her W-shaped pattern of 5 stars pivots around the North Star, and each spring looks more and more like the celestial throne she sits upon.

The Vernal or Spring Equinox marks the calendar arrival of Spring late this afternoon at 5:24 PM EDT, when the Sun is positioned directly above the Earth’s equator. Although the word equinox means “equal night”, the atmosphere bends the sun’s light, shifting it slightly higher, adding several minutes to the daylight.

In March, the Milky Way is still fairly high across the western sky in the evening, running from the south, just above the bright star Sirius, then high in the west above Orion and Taurus, the Bull, then to the right of the bright star Capella, finally settling down into the north.