National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

Astronomical Information | 2016 | March

The sky of Tokyo

The sky of Tokyo (8:00 p.m. Mid-March)
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Calendar (February)

2Last Quarter Moon
8Jupiter at opposition
9Total solar eclipse (A partial solar eclipse can be seen from all of Japan) Reference: Local Prediction of the Solar Eclipse / New Moon
16First Quarter Moon
20Vernal Equinox Day [Shunbun-no-hi] (national holiday) / Vernal equinox (Sun’s ecliptic longitude 0°)
23Full Moon
24Mercury at superior conjunction
25Saturn at stationary point

The days for the peak activities of the meteor showers are based on the predictions of IMO (International Meteor Organization).


Mercury is positioned close to the Sun and not suited for observations. It reaches superior conjunction on the 24th.
Venus is positioned low in the eastern sky before sunrise, but its apparent location is close to the Sun so it is not suited for observations.
Mars moves from the constellation Libra to the constellation Scorpius. It can be seen in the southern sky before sunrise. Its brightness is 0.3 magnitude to -0.5 magnitude.
Jupiter, located in the constellation Leo, can be seen in the southern sky around 19:00, when viewed from Tokyo. It reaches opposition on the 8th, presenting us with an opportunity to observe it. Its brightness is -2.5 magnitude to -2.4 magnitude.
Saturn, located in the constellation Ophiuchus, can be seen in the southern sky before sunrise. Its brightness is 0.5 magnitude to 0.4 magnitude.

Source: Ephemeris Computation Office, NAOJ

With the “Sky Viewer” you can easily explore the appearance of a typical urban night sky (planets and constellations are visible).The Celestial Phenomena section of the glossary explains the planetary phenomena terms: greatest elongation, opposition, conjunction, stationary, etc.


Planetary Phenomena