Star calendar for April 2016

Star calendar 1–30 April 2016

1 Apr    At dawn, the moon is low in the southeast with Sagittarius to the right. Scorpius is farther to the right with Saturn and Mars above the Scorpion.

5 Apr    Mercury is at perihelion, its closest approach to the sun, 0.3075 astronomical units away.

7 Apr    The moon is at perigee, 56 Earth-radii (357,000 kilometers) away, its second-closest approach for the year. Because perigee occurs only 6 hours after the new moon, expect extreme tides.

8 Apr    Low in the west at dusk, Mercury is a little more than 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right.

10 Apr    Aldebaran is ½ finger-width to the moon’s lower right, low in the west at sunset.

11 Apr    The moon lies between Capella, 3 fist-widths to the upper right, and Betelgeuse, 1 fist-width to the lower left.

12 Apr    The star just ½ finger-width to the moon’s lower left is Alhena in the constellation Gemini.

13 Apr    The moon lies between Procyon, 1 fist-width to the lower left, and Pollux, the same distance to the upper right.

15 Apr    The equation of time is zero.

16 Apr    Regulus is 1 finger-width above the moon high in the south at sunset.

17 Apr    Jupiter is 1 finger-width to the moon’s upper left this evening.

18 Apr    At its greatest elongation, 19.9 degrees east of the sun, Mercury sets 1¾ hours after the sun.

19 Apr    This evening, the moon lies between Jupiter, 2½ fist-widths to the upper right, and Spica, 1½ fist-widths to the lower left.

20 Apr    The moon rises about an hour before sunset, followed a few minutes later by Spica, 3 finger-widths to the lower right. By midnight, they are high in the south with Spica to the moon’s lower left.

21 Apr    The moon is at apogee, 63.71 Earth-radii (406,000 kilometers) away.

24 Apr    The moon rises 2½ hours after sunset, followed a few minutes later by Mars, 2 finger-widths to the lower right. Saturn rises a few minutes afterward, 3 finger-widths to the lower left.

26 Apr    Low in the southwest before dawn, Saturn is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right, and Mars is the same distance beyond Saturn. Antares is 2 finger-widths to Mars’ lower left. Compare the red/orange colors of Mars and Antares, the rival of Mars.

27 Apr    This morning, the moon is above the dome of the Teapot constellation, Sagittarius.

29 Apr    Altair is 2½ fist-widths above the moon this morning.

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