In March, Orion settles into the southwest for some great evening views. The evenings also feature the Big Dipper rising in the northeast, looking like a giant question mark. Follow the “handle” toward the horizon, where the star Arcturus rises by 9 o’clock. After the winter Venus returns to the evening skies, joined by Mercury for the first three weeks. (see diagram above). The morning skies continue a fine display of the outer planets, with Jupiter rising at midnight by mid-month, sliding into the southwest toward dawn. Mars brightens and tracks east to encounter Saturn by the end of the month.