Saturn experiences its conjunction with the Sun, passing directly behind the Sun from our viewpoint, which happens every 378 days, just slightly longer than one year. The difference comes from Saturn’s very slow orbit of 29 and a half years, causing it to shift its position a small amount each year. It takes the Earth 13 days to “catch up” to Saturn’s same position each year.

Leap Day, occurring once every four years, keeps our calendar in sync with the seasons and the Sun. Our 365 and one quarter day orbit leaves a quarter day extra each year, adding up to the extra day on our calendars every four years. The Egyptians figured this out, but Julius Caesar implemented this into his calendar reform in 45 BC.

March kicks off with good views of the planet Jupiter, and yet you can see a pronounced change. Jupiter starts the evening halfway up in the west-southwest near 6:30 PM, but it won’t make it until midnight, setting by 10:30 PM. It loses height each evening through the next two months, lost in the Sun’s glare by May.