h1

Astronomy Events – April 2014

March 31, 2014

by yaska77

British Summer Time is now in effect, giving us lighter evenings and signalling the approach of actual summertime :)

April is a good month for garden astronomers, the warmer evenings allow for longer use of scopes and cameras without as much annoyance from dew and lens fogging (or general freezing!) but it’s still getting dark early enough to get some good observing in before bed!

So with a meteor shower towards the end of the month it’s as good a time as ever to get kids into appreciating the wonders of the night sky.  Today’s enthusiastic children are tomorrow’s astronomers, scientists and astronauts!

As usual then we’ve listed some astronomical events of interest for the coming month, so pick out some observing opportunities and keep watching the skies!

Wednesday 2nd April - Planet Uranus is in conjunction with the Sun today and is unobservable throughout April

Thursday 3rd April - The waxing crescent Moon is a close visitor in Taurus soon after sunset this evening as shown below

Shown due West at 21:00 UTC (22:00 BST) the waxing crescent Moon should be exhibiting Earthshine! (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Shown due West at 21:00 UTC (22:00 BST) the waxing crescent Moon should be exhibiting Earthshine! (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

With such a thin crescent you should be able to see some Earthshine affecting the Moon’s surface! This creates a nice effect so it’s worth trying to capture it in some photos if you have a DSLR

Earthshine happens when light reflected from the surface of the Earth illuminates the dark side allowing us to see details (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Earthshine happens when light reflected from the surface of the Earth illuminates the dark side allowing us to see details (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Monday 7th April - The Moon can be seen at First Quarter phase this evening

Tuesday 8th April - Today the Moon is at Apogee at a distance of 404,500 km (251,345 miles) the furthest point out in its orbit around the Earth

Red planet Mars is also at Opposition in Virgo this evening, so rises at sunset and sets at sunrise

We’ve yet to target Mars with our CCD camera (and variety of coloured filter lenses) so if the skies are favourable we may give it a proper go, especially as dark martian surface feature Syrtis Major Planum should be visible around midnight, providing a good contrast in surface colours to try and capture in the image

The only images we've managed to take of Mars so far have been wide angle shots (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

The only images we’ve managed to get of Mars so far have been wide angle shots like this one taken on 9th March 2014 (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

Tuesday 15th April - The Full Moon in the sky today is also sometimes known as the Flower Moon, Seed Moon or Awakening Moon, but also commonly as the Paschal Full Moon

Easter Sunday always immediately follows the Paschal Full Moon (which we imaged in April 2011) so perhaps we should call it the Bunny Moon or Egg Moon?!

Taken using a Canon EOS 550D DSLR mounted to a SkyWatcher Explorer 200mm Newtonian Reflector Telescope (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

This shot of a Paschal Full Moon from 2011 was taken using a Canon EOS 550D DSLR, mounted to a SkyWatcher Explorer 200mm Newtonian Reflector Telescope (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/A.Welbourn

The Moon will also experience a total lunar eclipse visible over east Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific and North and South America

It will enter the penumbral shadow at 00:35 and the umbral shadow at 05:58. Totality will last for 1 hour 18 minutes, between 07:07 and 08:25 with the moon leaving the umbral shadow at 09:38 and the penumbral shadow at 10:38 (all times UTC)

This map shows at a glance where on the planet the lunar eclipse will be visible - Credit: Fred Espenak (NASA GSFC)

This map shows at a glance where on the planet the lunar eclipse will be visible (click to enlarge) – Credit: Fred Espenak (NASA GSFC)

Wednesday 16th April - Continuing our recent addition to this guide, below we’ve provided constellation guides for Southern and Northern skies in April, shown below at 00:00 UTC (01:00 BST).  These can help you identify the spring constellations you can see in April

Shown at 00:00 UTC (01:00 BST) on 16th April, both these images are a handy guide for the whole month. This is the view you’ll get looking south (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Shown at 00:00 UTC (01:00 BST) on 16th April, both these images are a handy guide for the whole month. This is the view you’ll get looking south (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Displaying the night sky midway through the month, this image can help you identify the constellations you’ll see in the northern sky in April (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Displaying the night sky midway through the month, this image can help you identify the constellations you’ll see in the northern sky in April (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Monday 21st April – This evening is the peak of the annual Lyrid meteor shower, whose shooting stars appear to emanate from the constellation Lyra (see below for our radiant guide)

Best viewed late evening and early morning on the 22nd April before the Moon rises, you should also catch some Tuesday evening as well!

While the meteors will appear to emanate from Lyra, they can appear all over the sky (click to enlarge) - Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

While the meteors will appear to emanate from Lyra they can appear all over the sky, seen streaking away from the radiant position. Shown above at 23:00 UTC (00:00 BST) to the East (click to enlarge) – Credit: Sky-Watching/Stellarium

Tuesday 22nd April - This morning the Moon is seen at Last Quarter phase

Wednesday 23rd April - The crescent Moon is at Perigee today at a distance of 369,765 km (229,761 miles), the closest point of its orbit to the Earth

Saturday 26th April - Mercury is in Superior Conjunction

Tuesday 29th April - The New Moon rises with (and sets just after) the Sun today, so now is a good time to observe deep sky objects when the skies are unaffected by moonlight

An annular solar eclipse also occurs today, which is when the Moon’s apparent diameter appears smaller than the Sun’s, blocking most of the Sun’s light and causing the Sun to look like an annulus or ring. Sadly on this occasion only a partial eclipse will be visible from parts of Antarctica and Australia

As usual, if you take any photos throughout April you’d like to show us, please tweet them to us using the link below! We’d love to see your efforts!

Planets visible this month:

Jupiter
Venus
Mars
Mercury
Saturn

Remember, it can take your eyes up to 20 minutes to become properly dark adapted, and anything up to an hour for a telescope to reach ambient temperature outside (to ensure the best image), so give yourself plenty of time to get set up!

To make it easier to find this list of astronomical happenings you can also locate it in the “Monthly Guide” section in the menu bar to the right. Handy! :)

Guide images created with Stellarium

Archive:
Astronomy Events – March 2014
Astronomy Events – February 2014
Astronomy Events – January 2014

About these ads

2 comments

  1. Reblogged this on MissBlue Blog.


  2. Reblogged this on 恋の予感.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,263 other followers

%d bloggers like this: