Astronomy Info & Events - April

Moon Phases

April 3 First Quarter Moon
April 11 Full Moon (The Pink Moon)
April 19 Last Quarter Moon
April 26 New Moon 

Special Events

April

International Space Station passes visible from April 1 to April 13 in the evening. Check out the website http://www.heavens-above.com to find out the exact times when the International Space Station will be visible from your location.  The International Space Station (ISS) will be seen as a bright moving point of light, moving in an arc from the west to the east during its visible passes.

April 7

Jupiter at opposition and 37 light minutes from Earth

April 10

Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (Edmonton Centre) meeting.
Times:  7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. in the Margaret Zeidler Star Theatre.
Free for anyone to attend.

Visit the RASC Website for more information

April 12

Yuri’s Day, a celebration of Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s flight into space (first human space flight), April 12, 1961.

April 20

Mars seen 3 degrees below the Pleiades star cluster (M45)

April 22

Lyrid meteors peak

April 22

Earth Day. See earthday.ca for more information

April 23

Venus is 5 degrees north of the Moon

April 29

International Astronomy Day - join us for special astronomical events!

Planets

Mercury is visible low along the west-northwestern horizon after sunset at the beginning of the month.  It reaches its point of greatest eastern elongation on April 1 (furthest angular separation from the Sun of 19 degrees).  Mercury then disappears into the glare of the setting Sun by the middle of the month.

Venus becomes visible along the eastern horizon before sunrise early in the month.  Look for the waning crescent Moon near Venus in the predawn hours of April 23.  Venus is unmistakable as the brightest object in the predawn eastern sky. 

Mars is found low in the western sky after sunset at the start of the month and slowly becomes lost in the glare of the setting Sun by the end of the Month. On April 27 look for Mars just above the slim waxing crescent Moon along the west-northwest horizon after sunset. Mars is located in the constellation of Aries, the ram, from April 1 to 12, but then it moves into the constellation of Taurus, the bull, for the rest of the month. 

Jupiter is found at opposition on April 7 and hence will be visible rising in the east at sunset and setting in the west at sunrise.  It will be highest in the sky when it is due south around 1:30 a.m. MDT.  Look for Jupiter just above the bright star Spica in the constellation of Virgo, the maiden, all month long and by the near Full Moon on the nights of April 10 and 11.  Jupiter will be a highlight of telescopic observing this month at the TELUS World of Science - Edmonton’s RASC Observatory.   Check the TELUS World of Science – Edmonton website for all operating times.

Saturn rises after midnight local time along the southeast horizon and then is found low in the south by sunrise.  Located just above the spout of the “teapot” of the constellation of Sagittarius, the Archer, Saturn begins retrograde motion after April 6 as it slowly approaches its time of opposition on June 15.  Look for Saturn very close to waning gibbous Moon on April 16 and 17.