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Constellations

These constellations are well placed this month, but many more can be seen. Check the star map for more.

Bo├Âtes can be found in the eastern sky. Follow the handle of the Plough to Arcturus to locate it.

Virgo can be found in the south east. Continue the curve of the Plough’s handle past Arcturus to locate it.

Gemini can be found in the western sky. Find it to the upper left of the constellation of Orion.

Planets

Mercury is too near the Sun to be seen this month.

Venus can be seen very bright in the western evening sky. As the brightest object in the sky besides the Sun and Moon, Venus casts a faint shadow with no interference from the Moon or electric light. On the 4th, Venus has a close approach with the Pleiades (Seven Sisters) in the constellation of Taurus. Venus will be in conjunction with the Moon on the 26th, and reach peak brightness on the 28th.

Mars is gradually increasing in brightness at the moment, and can be seen in the south eastern sky before sunrise. Mars will be in conjunction with the Moon on the 16th.

Jupiter can be seen low in the south eastern sky before sunrise, appearing close to Mars and Saturn for much of the month. On the 15th, Jupiter will be in conjunction with Saturn and the Moon together at once. Now is a particularly good time to observe the Galilean moons, which can be easily seen with binoculars or a small telescope.

Saturn is quite faint in the south eastern sky before sunrise. Appearing close to Jupiter, it will be in conjunction with both Jupiter and the Moon on the 15th.

Uranus and Neptune are never visible with the naked eye, but are both too close to the Sun to be observed this month.

Meteor Showers

The Lyrids reach their peak on the night of the 22nd. With a maximum of 15 meteors per hour, these are best seen in the early morning. The radiant (origin point) of the meteors will appear near Vega in the constellation of Lyra.

Moon

First Quarter: 1st

Full Moon: 8th

Last Quarter: 14th

New Moon: 23rd

First Quarter: 30th

Earthshine: 16th – 22nd, 23rd – 29th

Points of Interest

The Zodiacal Light will be visible in dark areas from the 10th to the 24th.

The 11th is the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 13.

Visit https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/sightings/ to find out when the International Space Station will be visible from your location.