Archive for April, 2010

April 2010

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Lunar Events

The new moon for April occurs on Wednesday April 14th.  This will make the weekends on April 10-11 and April 17-18 good weekends for dark sky observing.

The full Moon for this month occurs on April 28th and is known as the Full Flower Moon or the Full Corn Planting Moon.

Mercury

Mercury starts this month by crossing from the constellation Pisces (The fish) into the constellation Aries (The Ram).  Mercury will remain in Aries for the duration of the month.

On April 1st, Venus and Mercury will be a mere 3°10’ from each other. Venus and Mercury
Mercury Greatest Eastern Elongation

 

Mercury reaches its best evening observing on April 8, when it reaches its Greatest Eastern Elongation.  On the 8th, Mercury will be 19°20’60” from the Sun.

Note: The Red line is the orbit of Mercury and the green line is the Ecliptic.

Mercury is observable in the evening hours of April until the 21st, when it disappears into the glare of the Sunset.

Venus

Venus is the Evening Star for the month of April. Venus begins the month in the constellation Aries (The Ram) and on April 19th, Mercury crosses into the constellation Taurus (The Bull).

On April 1st, Venus and Mercury will be a mere 3°10’ from each other. Venus and Mercury

Venus and Pleiades
On April 24th, Venus will pass within 3°40’ of the asterism Pleiades (M45).

Mars

Mars is still in excellent position for the evening and late hours of April and is located in the constellation Cancer (The Crab) for the entire month.  Mars sets around 2:45 am (PST) at the start of april and sets around 1:15am (PST) by the end of the month.

Mars and Beehive Cluster
During April, Mars can be found in the general vicinity of the Beehive Cluster (M44).  On April 16th, Mars will pass within 1°10’ of the Beehive Cluster.

Jupiter

Jupiter is observable in the morning hours of April in the constellation Aquarius (The Water Bearer).  Jupiter rises at the start of April around 4:45 am (PST) and by the end of the month is rising around 3:10 am (PST).

Jupiter and Moon
On April 11th, the waning, crescent moon will pass within 4°50’ of the Jupiter.

Saturn

Saturn is located in the constellation Virgo (The Maiden) until December 2012.  Saturn is observable in the evening and very late hours of April. At the start of the month Saturn sets around 5:25 am (PST) and by the end of the month Saturn will set around 3:25 am (PST).

Saturn and Moon On April 25th, Saturn rises within 10° of the waxing, gibbous moon.

Uranus

Uranus emerges from the glare of the sunrise around April 2nd. Uranus is observable in the morning hours before sunrise.  At the beginning of April Uranus rises around 5:10 am (PST) and, by the end of April, Uranus rises around 3:20 am (PST). Uranus is located in the constellation Pisces (The Fish) until May 2012.

Uranus and Moon
On April 12th, the waning, crescent moon passes within 5°15’ of Uranus.

Neptune

Located in the constellation Aquarius (The Water Bearer) until August 2010, Neptune is observable in the early morning hours of April. Neptune rises at the start of the month around 3:50 am (PST) and by the end of the month Neptune rises around 2:00 am (PST).

Neptune and Moon
On April 9th, the waning, crescent moon passes within 3°50’ of Neptune.

Pluto

Pluto is located in the constellation Sagittarius (The Archer) until the year 2023.  Pluto is observable from the very early morning hours of April.  At the start of the month Pluto rises around 12:30 am (PST) and, by the end of the month, Pluto rises around 10:40 pm (PST).

Pluto and Moon
On April 5th, the waning, gibbous moon passes within 5° of Pluto.


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