Monday, April 4, 2011

Astronomy Events – April 2011

Astronomy Events – April 2011

Listing upcoming Astronomy events for the month of April.  Here’s hoping we get clear skies for them!

Saturday 2nd April – Moon at Apogee (406,655 km).  The absence of the Moon tonight means it’s a great evening for “deep-sky” objects

Sunday 3rd April – New Moon

Monday 4th April – Saturn at opposition (in Virgo) so now is a great time to get the best views of the planet.  Also, look out for the Seeliger Effect, a brief occurrence during which time the rings appear brighter for a few hours

Wednesday 6th April – Jupiter in Conjunction with the Sun

Friday 8th April – Those with a telescope should aim it towards the Moon this evening, and watch the terminator for the emergence out of the darkness of the crater Theophilus (just below the middle of line)

Saturday 9th April – Mercury in Inferior Conjunction

Wednesday 13th April – If you fancy staying up late Saturn’s moon Dione will clip across the southern pole of the planet between 03:00 and 04:00 BST

Friday 15th April – For those not wanting to stay up all night on Wednesday, at around 21:10 BST Dione will clip the southern pole of the planet again.  The moon Rhea will also be seen close by, a little further from the disc

Saturday 16th April – Tonight Saturn will appear to be the brightest “star” above the almost full Moon

Sunday 17th April – Moon at Perigee (358,090 km). Full Moon

Thursday 21st April – In the early hours the red supergiant Antares can easily be spotted below the waning gibbous Moon.  It’s name literally means “Rival of Mars” and it is the brightest star in the constellation of Scorpius

Friday 22nd April – April’s Lyrids Meteor Shower reaches its peak this evening, unfortunately the light from the waning crescent Moon (which rises early) will wash out the number of meteors you’ll be able to see

Friday 29th April – Moon at Apogee (406,040 km).  With the Moon out of the way look for M104 (better known as the Sombrero galaxy), lying 10° to the south of Porrima (the star just to the right of Saturn)

Saturday 30th April – Today just before sunrise there are five (yes five!) planets and the moon in the same part of the sky just above the eastern horizon.  Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars and a dim Uranus all make a brief appearance near the waning crescent Moon
Remember, it can take your eyes up to 20 minutes to become properly dark adapted, and anything up to an hour for a telescope to reach ambient temperature outside (to ensure the best image), so give yourself plenty of time to get set up!
by yaska77