Guide to April’s Night Sky

2 04 2012

Have you notice the two brightest stars that have been next to each other in the sky? They were actually planets! Jupiter and Venus, to be exact. The beginning of April marks the end of Jupiter from our night sky, and it will slowly disappear in the middle of the month. What new planets can be seen this month?

  • Mercury rises at dawn in the east. At 6 a.m. on April 22, place Mercury at the center of a pair of 7 x 50 binoculars. On a line extending halfway to the 10 o’clock position, you will see Uranus, only 2 degrees away!
  • On April 3, Venus becomes an extra sister in the Pleiades, and should prove to be a splendid sight. Venus will be at its brightest on April 30!
  • The moon does not rise until late dawn on April 23, so we will have a great dark sky on the 22nd for the Lyrid meteor shower. In 1982, around 300 were seen within a three-minute period! Observations throughout history show this stream is at least 2,600 years old.
  • Mars is still visible until morning (Mars looks like it is twinkling red and white light).

Check out this video from the Hubble Site for more information on April’s Night Sky!

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