Archive for April, 2006

April 2006

Saturday, April 1st, 2006

The New Moon for March occurred on March 29th and the New Moon for April occurs on April 27th. This gives April two great weekends for deep sky viewing: The weekend of April 1-2 and the weekend of April 29-30.

The Full Moon of April, also known as the “Egg” or “Paschal” Moon occurs on April 14th.

Mercury greatest Western Elongation
Sunrise, April 8, 2006 - Mercury at its Greatest Western Elongation for the Best Morning View.

Mercury will be at it’s Greatest Western Elongation on April 8th. This day will give the best morning view of Mercury as it will appear 27° 45′ before the Sun (about one hour and 50 minutes).

Mercury is visible all month in the morning hours before sunrise. It starts out in April in the constellation Aquarius (The Water Bearer). On April 14th, Mercury crosses into the constellation Pisces (The Fish), then on April 20th, it crosses the corner of the constellation Cetus (The Sea Monster), and finally returns to Pisces on April 24th.

Venus is visible during the morning hours for the entirety of April. Venus can be found on April 1st in the Constellation Capricornus (The Sea Goat). On April 3rd Venus moves into the Constellation Aquarius and finally, on April 27th, Venus moves into the Constellation Pisces.

Venus and the Moon
On April 24th, 2006, the Waning Crescent Moon will pass within 2° of Venus.

Mars can be observed during the evening hours of April. Mars is located in the Constellation Taurus (The Bull) from the beginning of April until the 14th when it moves into the Constellation Gemini (The Twins).

Mars & M35On April 17th, 2006, Mars will pass M35, an open cluster in the Constellation Gemini.

Views of Jupiter will continue to improve while it approaches Opposition on May 4th. Jupiter can be found in the constellation Libra (The Balance) until December 2006.

On the morning of April 15th Jupiter sets within 6° of the Waning Gibbous Moon. Jupiter & Moon

Views of Saturn are still great from it’s Opposition last January. Saturn is visible all night, all month. Saturn is located in the constellation Cancer (The Crab) until August 2006.

Uranus will be difficult to find in the morning hours before sunrise this month. Your best chance might be the mornings of April 17th to 19th when Uranus will be within 1° of Venus (On the Morning of April 18th Uranus will rise within 0° 20′ of Venus!). Uranus is in the constellation Aquarius until the year 2009.


Sunrise, April 18, 2006, Venus and Uranus within 0deg;30′ of each other.

Neptune is observable in the early morning hours all month. Neptune can be located in the constellation Capricornus until the year 2010.

Neptune & Moon
On the morning of April 22nd the Waning Crescent Moon will pass within 4° 20’ of Neptune.

Pluto is found in the constellation Serpens Cauda (The Snake’s Tail) until September 2006. Pluto can be located in the late evening hours all month


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