The Visible Planets
Mercury is not easily seen this month from our latitude as it is lost in the glare of the rising Sun along the northeastern horizon. Observers in more southerly latitudes will have a better view of Mercury this month.
Venus is found shining brilliantly in our western sky after sunset. It traverses the constellation of Taurus, the bull, through the month and can be seen near the bright star, Aldebaran, the red eye of the bull, for most of the month. On April 3, Venus passes through the cluster of stars known as the Pleiades or seven sisters, making for a great photo opportunity. After sunset on April 25 and 26, the waxing crescent Moon can be seen passing below the planet Venus. Venus reaches its brightest illumination on April 27 and can be viewed as a slim crescent in binoculars or a telescope.
Mars is found low in the southeastern sky before sunrise and is found moving through the constellation of Capricornus, the sea goat, during the month. Look for Mars and the similarly bright planet Saturn very close to one another at the start of the month. Before sunrise on April 15 and 16 the waning crescent Moon will be seen below Mars.
Jupiter is found in the constellation of Sagittarius, the archer, and can be seen shining brightly low in the southeastern sky before sunrise. Before sunrise on April 14 and 15, look for the bright planet Jupiter just above the waning crescent Moon. During the month, watch how the spacing between Jupiter and the planet Mars continues to increase and how Mars is slowing beginning to brighten.
Saturn is found low in the southeastern sky before sunrise and is found in the constellation of Capricornus, the sea goat. Before sunrise on April 15 look for Saturn just above the slim waning crescent Moon.
April 1 First Quarter Moon
April 7 Full Moon (Pink Moon)
April 14 Last Quarter Moon
April 22 New Moon
April 30 First Quarter Moon (Second first quarter Moon in the month)
International Space Station (ISS) Observable Passes
Look for passes of the ISS in the early evening sky from April 1 to 3, with the ISS always moving from west to east. ISS passes move into our predawn sky from April 28 onwards. Exact times of these passages for your location can be found by visiting the website http://www.heavens-above.com or by using satellite tracking smart phone apps like Sputnik.
April 1 Lunar straight wall visible tonight
April 3 Venus near the Pleiades (early evening sky)
April 10 Good Friday
April 12 Easter Sunday
April 13 Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) Edmonton Centre meeting
7:30 – 9:30 p.m. in the Zeidler Dome at the TELUS World of Science
Free to attend.
See http://www.edmontonrasc.com for more details.
April 15 Look for Saturn about 2° above the waning crescent Moon this morning before sunrise.
April 22 The Lyrid meteor shower peaks (Zenith hourly rate of only 18)
April 23 Hubble Space Telescope launched 30 years ago today.
Ramadan begins tonight after sunset and at the sighting of the slim crescent Moon.
April 24 First day of Ramadan
April 26 Uranus is in conjunction with the Sun
April 27 Venus at its brightest -4.7 in magnitude
April 27-May 3 International Astronomy week
April 30 Lunar straight wall visible tonight