Star Calendar April 2017

Star calendar April 2017

1 Apr     High in the west at dusk, Orion is to the lower left of the waxing crescent moon. Magnitude 0.5 Betelgeuse is 1 fist-width to the left while magnitude 0.85 Aldebaran is almost 1 fist-width to the lower right. Mercury, at its greatest elongation, 19 degrees east of the sun, sets more than 1½ hours after the sun and can be seen low in the west at evening twilight.

2 Apr     Betelgeuse is 1 fist-width below the moon at dusk.

3 Apr     High in the south at sunset, magnitude 0.46 Procyon is 1 fist-width to the first-quarter moon’s lower left. Magnitude 1.22 Pollux is the same distance to the upper left. The bright star 3½ fist-widths below the moon is magnitude -1.09 Sirius, the Dog Star.

6 Apr     The moon passes within ½ finger-width of magnitude 1.4 Regulus this evening.

7 Apr     At opposition, Jupiter is directly opposite the sun from Earth.

10 Apr    High in the southeast at midnight, magnitude -2.5 Jupiter is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right. Much dimmer, magnitude 0.98 Spica is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right.

15 Apr    Antares, the heart of the Scorpion, is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right low in the south before dawn. The moon is at apogee, 63.57 Earth-radii (405,000 kilometers) away. The equation of time is zero.

16 Apr    Low in the south before dawn, magnitude 0.4 Saturn is 2 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left. Antares is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s lower right.

19 Apr    The last-quarter moon rises 4 hours before the sun.

20 Apr    Before dawn, the bright star 3 fist-widths above the waning crescent moon is magnitude 0.93 Altair.

23 Apr    Venus is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s upper right before sunrise.

26 Apr    Venus reaches its brightest magnitude, -4.5, and rises 1½ hours before the sun.

27 Apr    The moon is at perigee, 56.34 Earth-radii (359,000 kilometers) away.

28 Apr    Low in the west at dusk, magnitude 0.85 Aldebaran is 2 finger-widths to the thin waxing crescent moon’s lower right. Much dimmer, magnitude 1.6 Mars is 4 finger-widths to Aldebaran’s right.

30 Apr    The moon is surrounded by several bright stars tonight, clockwise from the top: magnitude 1.22 Pollux, 1½ fist-widths above; magnitude 0.24 Capella, 3½ fist-widths to the right; magnitude 0.5 Betelgeuse, 2 fist-widths below; and magnitude 0.46 Procyon, 1½ fist-widths to the left.

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