Your Local Time:
The sky is not a painting, it's a movie. Stars pulse, flare, some explode as supernova, asteroids whiz by the earth, new comets appear in the sky, Aurora sets the northern skies ablaze and meteors streak through Earth's atmosphere.
The Full Moon for April
The Full Pink Moon – April This name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this month’s celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.
April Lunar Highlights
Total Lunar Eclipse April 15, 2014
On April 15 there will be a total lunar eclipse. The entire total phase will be visible from most of North America. See: Lunar Eclipse. On the 15th, the nearly Full Moon passes just 3° below Mars. The waning gibbous Moon is 1.2° south of Saturn on the 16th and morning of the 17th. A thin waning crescent is a few degrees above Venus on the 25th.
The Planets Visibility for April
Morning sky ESE
Mercury is close to the Sun to observe.
Morning sky ESE
Venus Shines brightly in the April morning sky rising at 4:45 a,m,. Venus at midmonth is at -4.2 magnitude and a diameter of 00'.19" at phase 60.58. Venus is located in the constellation Aquarius. On April 25 in the eastern morning sky, a thin crescent Moon is 6.27° degrees above Venus, see below.
Evening sky ESE
Mars at midmonth is at -1.4 magnitude and a diameter of 00'.15" at phase 99.71. Mars rises at 6:46 p.m and is located in the constellation Virgo. Mars is best viewed when it is higher in the sky, look for it's reddish glow. Mars is at its closest to Earth in six years. Below images shows Mars above the bright star Spica and the full Moon.
To see which part of the surface is visible at any time, check out the Mars Profiler at Sky & Telescope Magazine's web page.
S evening sky to W morning sky.
Jupiter at midmonth is at -2.2 magnitude and a diameter of 00'.37" located in the constellation Gemini visible after sunset high in the southwest sky and sets at 1:57 a.m. Jupiter is the brightest object in the evening sky other than the Moon.
Saturn at midmonth is at magnitude 0.2 and diameter 00'.18" rising 9:42 p.m. midmonth located in the constellation Libra. One of Saturn's Moons, Through a small telescope Saturn will reveal the famous rings of the planet. Rings currently are 22.1 tilt. Check out Saturn and the waning past full Moon on April 16th into the morning hours of the 17th as Saturn and the Moon draw closer to each other. See: Saturn's moons locations
Lost in glare of the Sun
Uranus at midmonth is too close to Sun to be observed this month located in the constellation Pisces A moderate-sized telescope will show it as a green-gray disk. See finder charts: Sky & Telescope
Neptune at midmonth is at 7.9 magnitude and diameter 00'.02" rising 4:38 a.m. and is located in the constellation Aquarius. Neptune is 03°31'10" Angular separation from Mars. See finder charts: Sky & Telescope
On midmonth asteroid Vesta is at magnitude 5.8 and Asteroid Ceres at magnitude 7.0 and are only 02°27'58" from each other. The asteroids are at opposition. The two asteroids are located in Virgo with both rising around 7:09 p.m.. They are both visible in binoculars See 2014 pdf finder charts: Chart
Pluto at midmonth is rises midmonth at 1:39 a.m.. Pluto is at magnitude +14.1, amid the stars of the Milky Way of the constellation Sagittarius. A large telescope is needed to see this distant object.
No comets currently brighter than 8 magnitude.
For more on current Comets and locations see: Seiichi Yoshida web site here.
The Lyrid meteors peak on April 22. Unfortunately, the Last Quarter Moon occurs the same night and its light will prevent all but the brightest meteors from being seen.
Some local links below to Heavens Above satellite information website.
Also see: Spaceflight NASA
Real time solar wind dials are linked live to the ACE Spacecraft.
If the dial on the left (Magnetic Field) has dipped below zero, the speed is high and the dial dynamic pressure is in the yellow/red, be alert for Aurora. Anytime the gauges are in the Red and the dial on the left, the Magnetic Field BZ has dipped to the yellow-red... Aurora will be occurring in our area. See link to solar wind gauge here: REAL TIME SOLAR WIND
See explanation of solar wind dials below by clicking on photo of dials
Solar Wind Dials