• Chris Baker

What's Up? - APRIL 2022

Each month I highlight a number of objects you can spot with the naked eye. So here we go for April 2022.


There are some fascinating conjunctions of planets this month- that is - you can see them close together!


And we have a meteor shower.....


PLANETS


There are some great opportunities to spot planets this month with the naked eye.


Mercury


Mercury won't be visible in the early part of April so you are going to have to wait. However I will remind you later in the month!

You can just begin to spot it by the 12th when it will set around an hour after the sun - so look north-north-west

By the 29th it will be setting over 2 hours after the sun so you stand a chance of seeing this low down on the horizon. (Never use optical equipment in the direction of the sun!)


On the 29th the planet will also appear close to the beautiful star cluster Pleiades (the seven sisters)


Mercury close to Pleiades around 22:00 on the 29th looking North- West

Courtesy of Stellarium



Venus

Venus low in the early morning sky rising about 80 minutes before the sun at the beginning and only about 30 minutes by the end of April. You will need to look low down in the eastern sky.


Early in the month you will see it close to Mars and Saturn!


Venus low down around 05:30am early in the month - close to Saturn and Mars - look East

Courtesy of Stellarium


By the end of the month it will appear close to Jupiter and if you have a low horizon on the 27th you'll also catch it near the moon.


Venus low down around 05:00am early on the 27th- close to Jupiter the Moon and Mars - look East

Courtesy of Stellarium


Mars

Best to be guided to see Mars by Venus - you'll need to wait to the end of the month though!


Saturn

Saturn is also a low morning object and on the 4th and 5th April it appears close to Mars in the southeast


Saturn and Mars close on the 4th and 5th April south east around 5:15am

Courtesy of Stellarium



Jupiter

Jupiter is poorly positioned during the early part of the month but by the end it is rising 30 minutes before sunrise- look in an easterly direction.



The Lyrids meteor shower

This annual meteor shower is best seen on the nights of the 22nd and 23rd April- don't worry I will remind you!

It is a medium strength shower but there's every chance of catching sight of a number and making a wish each time! You can expect around 10 an hour - so some patience will be required!


Where to look:

They appear to radiate from close to the brilliant star Vega - but you just need to look in that direction mid evening onwards.


Vega close to the radiant point of the Lyrids - 22nd 23rd April -North eastly direction

Courtesy of Stellarium



Good luck and let me know if you spot a Lyrid!


The Moon


Ever wondered about the phases and what they are? This should help:






Enjoy the night sky this month and let me know about your observations


Thank you for reading this blog and do let me know if there is anything you would like me to add to my Newsletter each month.

chris@galaxyonglass.com

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