There have been some spectacular sights in the night sky in recent weeks, with more set to follow in March, writes Calum Corral.

There have been some spectacular sights in the night sky in recent weeks, with more set to follow in March, writes Calum Corral.

Just recently, we were treated to a beautiful sight as the crescent moon appearing alongside two bright stars in the sky, caused quite a talking point over the Largs area recently. The stars were actually the planets Mars and Venus, and it was a stunning outlook.

Sadly, the viewing time was limited as the clouds quickly gathered, but don’t worry, there are still opportunities to see both these planets shining bright in the night sky over the next month.

While out and about in Fairlie, I have captured some nice scenic shots of the moon over the Clydeport terminal during morning and evening.

Venus will continue to be shining brightly in the west after sunset, setting at around 8.45-9pm during the next week, and 10pm by end of the month.

The great red planet, Mars, can be clearly seen very low in the south west at sunset, and will be found just below Venus, setting at around 8pm throughout this month.

Jupiter, with its great red spot, a storm which has been ongoing for hundreds of years, continues to rest to the south at sunset, setting at around 6am in early March.

And Saturn, with its glorious rings, can now be seen in the night sky with a telescope but you will have to be up early in the morning to catch it, rising at around 2am at the start of March, and till feature low in the south at sunrise.

There are several passes of the International Space Station in the skies above Largs and Millport in the early mornings this month. The brightest of these are 18 March at 5:46am, 20 March at 5.34am and 21 March at 4.42am. The space station is very bright and will travel across the sky in a roughly south west to the south east direction. It is hard to believe it is flying past at 17,000 miles per hour! For more information see The last Clyde Muirshiel viewing night of the season will be on Friday March 13. From 7pm to 9pm, given clear skies, they hope have fantastic views of the night sky from the best dark sky site in the local area. Staff from Coats Observatory will bring along a telescope and there are binoculars available from the Muirshiel Centre. If the weather prevents any viewing there will be a planetarium show and a talk. The event starts at 7pm and admission is free.

If you are intending to go along can you please contact 01505 842882 to confirm as they need to have an idea of numbers due to the limit of visitors that can be in the centre at any one time.

And don’t forget the partial eclipse, which is set to plunge the whole of Scotland into darkness on Friday 20 March at 9.30am, as the moon crosses the path of the sun, and will cover 90% of our nearest star. It should be a sight to behold - if the infamous Scottish weather manages to behave!

The eclipse event begins at 8.30am until 10.45am, and at its peak around 80% of the sun will be hidden behind the moon. The sun actually rises at 6.20am before putting on its big show for one and all - fingers crossed!

The Coats Observatory in Paisley offers you the chance to come and view the spectacuar event through their solar telescopes housed in the building.

In the build up to eclipse day, solar viewing sessions will run on Tuesday 17, Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 March, 2pm to 4pm at the observatory. They will also also be running a free drop-in workshop where people can make a solar viewer, allowing them to safely observe the Sun on the eclipse day. Access to Coats Observatory for the Solar Viewing sessions is via Paisley Museum, High Street, Paisley, PA1 2BA. The Coats Observatory is also open on Tuesday and Thursday evenings till the end of March for free stargazing. For more details, contact 0300 300 1210.