Since I was a child I’m amazed with astronomy. I always loved watching the stars, search and wait for eclipses and read about the universe; the feeling of inmensity and eternity the sky causes me is one of my favorites.
This year has many relevant astronomical events and this month also has them. Some events have passed but there are still many to see, even this very night.
Therefore I want to invite all of you to grab your binoculars or cameras in order to watch the wonders the sky of April has prepared us.
April 10th: The moon meets Jupiter
Throughout the year, the luminous Jupiter will pair with Espiga, the main star of the constellation Virgo. However, the largest planet in the solar system will also mate with the full moon. Tonight, the largest planet in the solar system will be seen in the company of the moon after the sun sets in the west, and in addition, the gaseous giant will look brighter than usual.
The closest approach will be at 23:00 UTC, although the phenomenon will be visible all night.
April 15th: The moon meets Antares
Our natural satellite meets the Antares star of the constellation Scorpio at 7:00 UTC
April 16th: The moon meets Saturn
After the meeting with Jupiter, 6 days later, our satellite will meet Saturn, which can be seen in the constellation Sagittarius. The maximum approach will occur at 19:00 UTC although the phenomenon will be visible also during the night.
Even the smallest telescope located on Saturn will reveal the set of rings that surround the gaseous giant and even some of its moons like Titan and Rhea
April 21st: Mars and the Pleiades
The Red Planet is slowly being overwhelmed by the glow of dusk but this month will pose together with the stars Pleiades.
The stellar group, also known as the Seven Sisters, will appear only 3 degrees away from the planet in the sky.
The maximum approach will occur at 20:00 UTC
April 22nd: The Lyrids
On the night of April 21st we have to stay awake and look for a shower of meteors near the Lyra constellation. The Lyrids should reach their maximum activity at 23:00, but it is expected to occur at 00:00 UTC, when the moon has set and leave the sky in darkness.
Between 15 and 20 meteors per hour should be visible during peak activity throughout the Northern Hemisphere. It is recommended to look for areas away from the cities due to their lower light pollution.
April 23rd: Pi-Puppids
Between April 21st and April 24th we mustn’t take our eyes off the sky. On April 23rd, for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, there will also be a meteor shower. An average of 40 meteors per hour is expected and the phenomenon will be visible around 00:00 UTC
April 23rd: The moon meets Venus
A great challenge awaits the observers of the morning sky. Before dawn on April 23rd and April 24th, Venus will pose with the crescent moon, with its closest approach on April 23rd at 21:00 UTC
April 28th: The moon meets Aldebaran, Mars and the Pleiades
At 18:00 UTC the moon will meet again with Aldebaran, the brightest star in the constellation of Taurus. Those in Europe, North Africa and North America will be fortunate to see the star slip behind our satellite, a phenomenon known as lunar occultation. At 9:00 UTC, the moon will have its closest approach to the Red Planet and, at 02:00 UTC, with the stars Pleiades.
So, friends, grab your binoculars or cameras, get ready and wait for the space phenomena April brings us.