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What's Up...
Some observing hilights
to look forward to...

The following tips on current and upcoming astronomical events
have been gathered from magazines and other sources by Dave Gamble
with the objective of giving OC RASC members a heads-up on
special personal
astro-experiences to look forward to.

Wed. April 6 – The fingernail pairing waning crescent Moon will be only a bit more than its width north of bright Venus in the pre-dawn sky this morning.

Thurs. April 7 – This is New Moon night, marking the heart of the dark Moon period for deep sky observers, sketchers and imagers.

Fri. April 8 – It will be a challenge to see in twilight, but the very thin crescent Moon will be only about the width of three middle fingers below Mercury which is beginning its climb into the evening sky.

Sat. April 9 – The elusive innermost planet Mercury is getting set for its best evening appearance of the year. Look for it low in the western twilight sky for the next two weeks, with its greatest elongation on the 18th.

Sun. April 10 – The waxing crescent Moon will occult bright Aldebaran in Taurus this afternoon. After finding the target pair in a telescope, begin watching for the disappearance of the star behind the dark limb of the Moon around 2.45pm. The reappearance will take place on the lit limb sometime after 3.25pm.

Wed. April 13 – This is First Quarter Moon night with the half slice of orange illuminating further signs of spring in the Okanagan.

Sat. April 16 – The engorging Moon will appear underneath Regulus in Leo this evening.  Meanwhile, Mars begins a westward migration as it commences its retrograde loop through the stars.

Sun. April 17 – Tonight the Moon has moved eastward and will be close to brilliant Jupiter.

Mon. April 18 – The innermost planet Mercury is now at its greatest eastern elongation from the Sun, appearing after nightfall at the highest extension that will have all year off the western horizon.

Wed. April 20 – The rapid motion of the Moon against the starry background will be illustrated tonight as it closes in on bright Spica in Virgo over the course of the night.

Thurs. April 21 – This is Full Moon night, but if you are into comparing the relative sizes of our neighbour, this will be the smallest ‘Mini Moon’ of the year since it occurs when our satellite is farthest from us at the aphelion point of its orbit. The largest ‘Super Moon’ will climb into the sky on November 14.

Fri. April 22 - For lovers of meteor showers, this year's Lyrids will unfortunately be challenged by a full Moon. The best opportunity to view them will be from around 11pm to dawn as the radiant climbs into the eastern sky.

Sun. April 24 – The now waning Moon lights up a panorama in the late night sky tonight, forming a fairly tight group with Saturn, Mars and Antares in a space roughly the size of a fist held at arms length.

Mon. April 25 – Moving right along, tonight the Moon pays a visit to Saturn, passing the width of two fingers above the ringed planet.

Fri. April 29 – This is Last Quarter Moon night. Start crossing fingers that we will have some clear skies for the coming dark Moon period.