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Home / Explore / Astronomy Info & Events: April

Astronomy Info & Events: April

The Visible Planets

Mercury is found low in the west-northwestern sky at sunset at the start of the month. It then reaches its greatest eastern elongation from the Sun on April 11. After April 11, Mercury slips lower in the northwestern sky from day to day, only to finally disappear in the dusk glow by the last week of April.

Venus shines as the brightest object in our western sky after sunset. During the month, Venus quickly traverses the sky from the constellation of Aries, the ram, into the constellation of Taurus, the bull. On the nights of April 10, 11, 12 and 13 look for the Pleiades (M45) open star cluster just to the upper right of Venus. On the nights of April 22 and 23 look for the waxing crescent Moon near Venus.

Mars is found shining high in the southwestern sky at sunset this month. It is in the constellation of Gemini, the twins, and appears just below the two stars, Castor, and Pollux, for most of the month and passes near the open star cluster, M35, on the nights of April 1 and 2. The waxing crescent Moon joins Mars on the evening of April 25 in Gemini.

Jupiter is not visible this month as it is at conjunction on April 11.

Saturn is starting to move out during dawn’s early light, low along the east-southeast horizon at the start of the month. On the morning of April 16, look for Saturn above the very shallow crescent Moon above the east-southeast horizon. Saturn will be situated within the constellation of Aquarius, the water bearer.

Moon Phases

April 5 Full Moon (Pink Moon)

April 13 Last Quarter Moon

April 19 New Moon

April 27 First Quarter Moon

Special Events

International Space Station (ISS) Observable Passes

Look for passes of the ISS before sunrise in the early morning sky from April 25 to April 29. Exact times of these passages for your location can be found by visiting http://www.heavens-above.com or by using satellite tracking smart phone apps like Sputnik.

April ? United Launch Alliance Atlas V, CST-100 Starliner Crew Flight Test (CFT)

April 10 Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) Edmonton Centre meeting

Live in the Zeidler Dome at TELUS World of Science - Edmonton and presented virtually through Zoom.

7:30 p.m. – 9:30 pm

Free for anyone to attend.

See http://www.edmontonrasc.com for more details.

April 11 Jupiter at conjunction with the Sun

Mercury is at its greatest eastern elongation (19°)

April 20 A rare hybrid solar eclipse (Annual and Total) is visible from parts of Australia

April 22 The Lyrid meteor shower peaks (Zenith hourly rate of only 18)

April 29 International Astronomy Day