Breakdown: Why April is a good time to look up

Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 1:24 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 16, 2022 at 10:30 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Get ready as April will be another great month to look into the night’s sky.

April 16th- The first full moon of Spring will be visible and it is referred to as the pink moon or the Paschal Full Moon.

  • For those who celebrate Easter the Paschal moon is important because Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon, this means this year Easter will be on April 17th.
  • It is referred to as the pink moon because many flowers that are blooming produce shades of pink.

April 19th night, dwarf planet Haumea will appear bright. It will reach its highest point around midnight local time.

April 21-23 – Lyrid Meteor Shower will peak just before and a day after Earth Day, April 22nd during the pre-dawn hours. It’s a moderate meteor shower and typically produces 10 to 20 meteors per hour.

April 22 - Earth Day will present a chance to view some cool colors in the sky

  • You may notice a pink or orange-hued sky with a blueish band underneath.
  • These bands move upward following sunset to form an arch over the sky that slowly fades as night sets in.
  • The dark blue band is Earth’s shadow rising. Above it, the rosy-hued band is known as the “Belt of Venus.” The “Belt of Venus” forms an arch with Earth’s shadow at sunset! It’s a beautiful sight

April 24 – Conjunction of the Moon & Saturn. Check it out after sunset on this day, Saturn and the Moon will appear near one another in the sky.

April 25 – Conjunction of the Moon & Mars. After sunset on April 25th, the Moon and Mars will appear, you can view without a telescope but binoculars or a telescope could make for more of an enjoyable sight

April 26 – Conjunction of the Moon & Venus will appear close together late evening ( You may also see Venus and Jupiter are also very close together in the sky)

April 27 – Conjunction of the Moon & Jupiter

Finally, Jupiter and the Moon have their own conjunction, in the early morning (pre-dawn) hours of April 27th. They’ll appear just 3°38′ apart as the Moon and planets set and the sky begins to lighten. The Moon has been a waning crescent all week, so this is actually one of the best nights for planet-gazing in general this month.

April 28 – Mercury at its Evening Peak which will be visible after sunset on April 28th, above the western horizon. This is a good chance to try to see the smallest planet.

April 29 – Asteroid 10 Hygiea at Opposition on the night of April 29th when it reaches opposition and will be brightly illuminated by the sun. On this night, you’ll need a telescope to try and spot small Hygiea in the constellation Virgo. In the northern hemisphere, the asteroid won’t be high above the southwestern horizon, making it hard to see but may be worth it if you get a glimpse.

April 30 – Conjunction of Venus & Jupiter, both planets will appear close together and visible during daylight hours. However in order to view the two planets at their closest to each your best bet is to rise early and enjoy them through your telescope or binoculars.

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