Night Skies in April
April has some great opportunities for night sky observers. At sunset in the beginning of April Jupiter will be the brightest object except for the moon. The planet will be followed by the red planet Mars. The brightest star below Jupiter is Sirius. Between these two objects is Betelgeuse, one of the bright stars of The constellation Orion.
The middle of April has a rare celestial event. On April 15th between the early morning of 2:00 am and 4:30 am Earth’s shadow will block the moon for a Total Lunar Eclipse! The moon will become a coppery red orb in the sky during totality. To add to the beauty of the night Saturn will escort the moon on the left and Mars will be on the right side. I hope this becomes a telescopic event.
Between April 16 through the 22nd the Earth passes through the dust remains of a comet. This is the Lyrid meteor shower. The meteors are often very bright and occasionally a band of meteors in the stream occur with a frequency of 100 per hour. Usually one can expect between 10 to 20 per hour. Let’s hope for clear skies to watch these events!