Highlights of the April Sky

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Here are some of the highlights of the night sky in April:

  • 9 PM western sky – Jupiter hanging over the western horizon
  • 9 PM eastern sky – Mars hanging over the eastern horizon, up throughout the night
  • 11 PM southeastern sky – Saturn rising after sunset
  • 11 PM eastern sky – on April 16, Saturn and the Moon rise together in the evening and travel together across the sky throughout the night
  • 5 AM western sky – Saturn and Mars visible before sunrise
  • 6 AM eastern sky – a clear view of Venus rising just before sunrise
  • 10 PM northern sky – Ursa Major constellation with the prominent Big Dipper asterism and the Pointer Stars, Merak and Dubhe, showing the way to Polaris in Ursa Minor; the double star system Mizar and Alcor which can be seen without binoculars; the pair of galaxies Messier 81 (Bode’s Galaxy) and Messier 82 (Cigar Galaxy)
  • 10 PM southern sky – Leo constellation with the bright star Denebola marking the lion’s tail and Regulus marking the lion’s heart; the Leo Triplet of galaxies (M66 Group) consisting of Messier 65, Messier 66 and NGC 3628 (Sarah’s Galaxy); the pair of large spiral galaxies Messier 95 & Messier 96
  • Three Leaps of the Gazelle – three pairs of bright stars lying between the lion’s head and the Big Dipper, marking the bear’s paws
  • 2 AM eastern sky – Lyrid meteor shower, visible in the direction of Lyra constellation, best seen in the early morning hours of April 22, with up to 20 meteors per hour after midnight
  • April 15 – total lunar eclipse visible in North and South America and Australia
  • April 29 – annular solar eclipse visible from Antarctica, with a partial solar eclipse visible from Australia and southern Indonesia

Related: April constellations