Friday, April 1, 2016

Sky Events April 2016

Moon Phases

Thursday, April 7, 7:24 a.m. EDT

New Moon

The Moon is not visible on the date of New Moon because it is too close to the Sun, but can be seen low in the East as a narrow crescent a morning or two before, just before sunrise. It is visible low in the West an evening or two after New Moon.

Wednesday, April 13, 11:59 p.m. EDT

First Quarter Moon

The First Quarter Moon rises around 11:45 a.m. and sets around 2:45 a.m. It dominates the evening sky.

Friday, April 22, 1:24 a.m. EDT

Full Moon

The April Full Moon is known as the Seed Moon, Pink Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon, Egg Moon, or Fish Moon. It rises around sunset and sets around sunrise; this is the only night in the month when the Moon is in the sky all night long. The rest of the month, the Moon spends at least some time in the daytime sky.

Friday, April 29, 11:29 p.m. EDT

Last Quarter Moon

The Last Quarter Moon rises around 2:30 a.m. and sets around 1:15 p.m. It is most easily seen just after sunrise in the southern sky.

Observing Highlights

Double shadow transit on Jupiter

Tuesday, April 5, 5:37–6:19 a.m. EDT

Shadows of Io and Europa cross Jupiter simultaneously.

Aldebaran 0.3 degrees south of Moon

Sunday, April 10, 6 p.m. EDT

The Moon will occult Aldebaran as seen from Hawaii, northern Mexico, USA, and southern Canada.

Jupiter 2 degrees north of Moon

Monday, April 18, 1 a.m. EDT

The waxing gibbous Moon will pass just south of Jupiter.

Mercury at greatest elongation East

Monday, April 18, 10 a.m. EDT

This is the best evening apparition of Mercury for 2016 for observers in the Northern Hemisphere.

Moon, Saturn, Mars, and Antares in group

Monday, April 25, past midnight

These four bright objects will rise as a group in the East just after midnight on April 24/25.

Juno at opposition

Tuesday, April 26, 11:00 p.m. EDT

The asteroid Juno is exactly opposite the Sun in the sky, and is visible all night. It is magnitude 10.0 in the eastern part of the constellation Virgo.


Mercury is well placed all month in the evening sky, the best apparition of the year for observers in the Northern Hemisphere.

Venus is moving behind the Sun, and will be hard to spot before sunrise.

Mars rises around midnight, moving from Scorpius to Ophiuchus on the 3rd. It reverses direction on the 16th and moves back into Scorpius on the 30th. Its disk grows from 12 to 16 arc seconds during the month, as it moves towards opposition on May 22. Observers with good telescopes should be able to see some of the dark markings on Mars’ surface this month.

Jupiter was at opposition on March 8, so is still visible most of the night, setting around 5 a.m.

Saturn is well placed in Ophiuchus, rising around midnight. Its rings are now spread widely, making it a beautiful sight in a small telescope.

Uranus is too close to the Sun to be observed this month.

Neptune is also too close to the Sun to be observed.

Geoff Gaherty
Starry Night Software Support
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