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The sky is not a painting, it's a movie. Stars pulse, flare, some explode as supernova, asteroids whiz by the earth, new comets appear in the sky, Aurora sets the northern skies ablaze and meteors streak through Earth's atmosphere.
The Full Moon for April
The Full Pink Moon – April This name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this month’s celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.
April Lunar Highlights
A thin waning crescent is a few degrees above Venus on the 25th.
The Planets Visibility for April
Morning sky ESE
Mercury is close to the Sun to observe.
Morning sky ESE
Venus Shines brightly in the April morning sky rising at 4:34 a,m,. Venus at later days of month is at -4.1 magnitude and a diameter of 00'.18" at phase 65.00. Venus is located in the constellation Aquarius moving into Pisces on the 28th. On April 25 in the eastern morning sky, a thin crescent Moon is 6.27° degrees above Venus, see below.
Evening sky ESE
Mars on the 26th is at -1.2 magnitude and a diameter of 00'.15" at phase 98.31. Mars rises at 5:45 p.m on the 26th and is located in the constellation Virgo. Mars is best viewed when it is higher in the sky, look for it's reddish glow. Mars is at its closest to Earth in six years. Below images shows Mars above the bright star Spica and the full Moon.
To see which part of the surface is visible at any time, check out the Mars Profiler at Sky & Telescope Magazine's web page.
evening sky W
Jupiter on the 26th is at -2.1 magnitude and a diameter of 00'.36" located in the constellation Gemini easily visible after sunset high in the western sky and sets at 1:20 a.m. Jupiter is the brightest object in the evening sky other than the Moon.
Saturn on the 26th is at magnitude 0.1 and diameter 00'.19" rising 8:55 p.m. midmonth located in the constellation Libra. Through a small telescope Saturn will reveal the famous rings of the planet. Rings currently are 21.9 tilt. See: Saturn's moons locations
Lost in glare of the Sun
Uranus at midmonth is too close to Sun to be observed this month located in the constellation Pisces A moderate-sized telescope will show it as a green-gray disk. See finder charts: Sky & Telescope
Neptune on the 26th is at 7.9 magnitude and diameter 00'.02" rising 3:56 a.m. and is located in the constellation Aquarius. Neptune location is shown in graphic below. See finder charts: Sky & Telescope
On midmonth asteroid Vesta is at magnitude 5.8 and Asteroid Ceres at magnitude 7.0 and are only 02°27'58" from each other. The asteroids are at opposition. The two asteroids are located in Virgo with both rising around 7:09 p.m.. They are both visible in binoculars See 2014 pdf finder charts: Chart
Pluto at midmonth rises midmonth at 12:56 a.m.. Pluto is at magnitude +14.1, amid the stars of the Milky Way of the constellation Sagittarius. A large telescope is needed to see this distant object.
No Comets Brighter than 8 Magnitude
For more on current Comets and locations see: Seiichi Yoshida web site here.
The Lyrid meteors peak on April 21/22. Unfortunately, the Last Quarter Moon rises at 2:06 a.m. on the 22nd. So it is best to observe from 11 till around 2 to see the fainter meteors as the light from the Moon will prevent all but the brightest meteors from being seen. See graphic below showing the location of the constellation Lyra and the Lyrids radiant for 11 p.m.. The constellation Lyra will be highest in the sky before dawn, The higher in the sky the radiant is means less atmosphere to look through. Meteors are swifter and brighter in the early a.m. hours as the Earth is running headlong into the meteors. Face NE and look for the bright star Vega and the trapezoid of Lyra. Look for 15 meteors per hour. It is possible there could be higher rates. the meteor shower can sometimes experience an outburst of about 100 meteors per hour.
Some local links below to Heavens Above satellite information website.
Also see: Spaceflight NASA
Real time solar wind dials are linked live to the ACE Spacecraft.
If the dial on the left (Magnetic Field) has dipped below zero, the speed is high and the dial dynamic pressure is in the yellow/red, be alert for Aurora. Anytime the gauges are in the Red and the dial on the left, the Magnetic Field BZ has dipped to the yellow-red... Aurora will be occurring in our area. See link to solar wind gauge here: REAL TIME SOLAR WIND
See explanation of solar wind dials below by clicking on photo of dials
Solar Wind Dials