April begins with a New Moon. Two weeks later the sky will be bright all night with a Full Moon, then its dark again at the end of the month. Just after the sky is dark on the 29th, you may catch a glimpse of Mercury low in the west. It is orbiting up from behind the sun and will reach its maximum angular distance from the Sun on April 29. Above Mercury and in the same binocular field of view is the Pleiades Star Cluster. Mercury will be about the same brightness as the bright star Aldebaran in the head of Taurus over to the left (east).
1 New Moon
7 Moon at Apogee 15:11
9 1st Qtr.Moon
16 Full Moon
18 Sun enters Aries, 21:40
19 Moon at Perigee 11:13
22 Night for Lyrid Meteor Shower
23 Last Qtr.Moon
29 Mercury Max. Elongation in Evening Sky
30 New Moon
DATES FOR THE PHASES OF THE MOON
When at Opposition, planets will appear on the opposite side of the sky from the Sun – very roughly on the meridian at midnight.
Conjunctions are when the planet has the same “longitude” as the Sun. A Superior Conjunction is when the planet is on the other side of the Sun, and an Inferior Conjunction is when it is between the Earth and the Sun. Only Mercury and Venus can be at Inferior Conjunction. Maximum elongation is when Mercury and Venus appear farthest from the Sun in our sky. This occurs either in our morning eastern sky (mor.) or our western evening sky (eve.).
Do not apply the Ottawa-correction times to the times in this table.
PROMINENT CONSTELLATIONS BY SEASONS
One of Canada’s foremost writers and educators on astronomical topics, the Almanac has benefited from Robert’s expertise since its inception. Robert is passionate about reducing light pollution and promoting science literacy. He has been an astronomy instructor for our astronauts and he ensures that our section on sunrise and sunset, stargazing, and celestial events is so detailed and extensive it is almost like its own almanac.