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Offline koootzz

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April 2012 Sky Guide
« on: 19:32:43, 30 March, 2012 »

April Sky Guide

Full moon on the 6th, new moon on the 21st. The 'Golden Handle' will be visible on the 1st from 23.00 - 04.00 (Sun illuminates Jura mountains while Sinus Iridum is in shadow).
Opportunity for crescents on the 18th - 20th (morning) & 22nd - 24th (evening).
The Lyrid meteor shower will reach maximum on the 22nd and coincides with a new moon. Best time to observe will be a few hours before sunrise.


Mercury is not visible throughout April.

Venus will be visible through the month in the evening for several hours after sunset. The planet will pass very close to the Pleiades on the evening of the 3rd.

Mars will now begin to fade slightly in brightness now it has passed opposition. The planet is currently in retrograde motion but will reach it's stationary point on the 14th before changing to prograde motion.

Jupiter is visible in the evening but getting closer to the Sun as the month passes before disappearing into it's glare next month. There will be a last opportunity before that to catch the planet close to the crescent moon on the evening of the 22nd.

Saturn reaches opposition on the 15th April in Virgo and will be visible for most of the night. Ring angle is currently 13.7 degrees.

Comets visible this month (to magnitude 12)
Garradd C2009/P1 is still visible this month as it passes from Ursa Major into Lynx but it is fading and will become difficult, if not impossible, next month.

ISS Passes

The ISS will be making early morning passes until the 7th. It will then have evening passes from the 10th to the end of the month.
For 10 day listings for your location please check (free registration required)

Deep Sky

Best deep sky imaging for April is from the 15th to the 28th.
As seen in the map below there are a lot of Messier objects to choose from in the area of Leo / Virgo.

vixen 60s, modded 1000D, modded 300D, DSI I, 10" dob (work in progress), some other bits and a stupendous talent for attracting cloud!

Offline Ian Straton

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Re: April 2012 Sky Guide
« Reply #1 on: 09:44:05, 04 April, 2012 »
thanks for the reminder about the lyrids!  on a weekend and new moon!

Offline feebix

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Re: April 2012 Sky Guide
« Reply #2 on: 10:48:47, 03 July, 2012 »
I'll get an early night the night before this time eh....


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