Monthly Star Guide April 2013

Star Chart for 15th April 2013

Constelations-13.03Moon phases

Go to Sunrise and Moon Phases for April 2013 for phases and times of sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset. This information can be accessed for any time of the year from Information on the drop down menu at the top of the page.

Planets

Mercury appears in the morning sky and reached its maximum elongation from the sun on the 31st, March. It is now approaching the sun again and becomes more difficult to view in the course of the month. It reaches superior conjunction (behind the sun) on 11th, May.

April-mercury-03

 

Venus passed superior conjunction (behind the sun) on 28th March and now appears in the evening sky just after sunset but will not be easy to see until the end of the month.

April-venus-03

Mars reaches superior conjunction (behind the sun) on the 18th April and cannot be observed in the night sky.

Jupiter sets five hours after the sun at the beginning of the month and three hours after the sun at the end of the month. On the 14th, it reaches conjunction with the moon.

April-Jupiter-01

 

Saturn rises about two hours after the sun at the beginning of the month but is already in the sky at sunset at the end of the month. On the 28th, it is in opposition where the Earth lies between the Sun and the planet. At this moment it is at its nearest to the Earth and therefore its brightest. It’s north pole is now tilted towards the Earth and its rings are opening out. We are now entering the best time to view this planet.

April-Saturn

For some information on Saturn, click on the following star blog:

Saturn and its moons

Saturn-eclipsing-sun

 

Meteorite Shower

The Lyrids reach there maximum on the 22nd April and will be seen best in the early morning after the moon has set at 3.00 am and before sunrise at 5.11 am. Under perfect conditions, about 20 meteorites may be seen in an hour. Their radiant is in the constellation of Lyra from which they appear to come, easily located with the star Vega.

April-Lyrids

 

Partial eclipse of the moon

In the course of the night of the 25th April, the moon will pass into the Earth’s penumbral shadow causing a discernible dimming of its light as it rises in the sky. Around 10.00 pm, the north pole of the moon will just be clipped by the umbral shadow, making it appear darker at the north compared to the south.

April-eclipse

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