That brilliant "star" blazing in the southwestern sky on clear evenings this month is actually the planet Venus. It is currently at its very brightest, rated by astronomers at a magnitude of minus-4.6. Venus is highly reflective, but it is only partially illuminated by the sun. Through a telescope, it looks like a bright smile, or the crescent moon. During March, it will fade quickly and slip deeper into the dusk.
FRANK ROYLANCEThe Baltimore Sun