Read our April sky notes to find out what’s in the night sky this month!
These constellations are well placed in the evening this month, but many more can be seen. Check the star map for more.
Leo appears high in the south eastern sky at sunset and moves across the south before setting in the west shortly before sunrise. By the end of the month, it appears due south. Leo can be recognised by the asterism the Sickle, which forms the lion’s mane.
Bootes can be seen high in the sky this month. It begins in the east and moves higher and towards the south as the night goes on.
Virgo appears in the eastern sky at sunset this month. As the night goes on, it moves across the southern sky to end the night low on the western horizon. It starts the night higher in the sky as the month continues.
Mercury can only be seen immediately before sunrise very low on the northwestern horizon. Look for it in the second half of the month: before this it stays below the horizon. Mercury will be at superior solar conjunction on the 3rd, perihelion 13th, in conjunction with Uranus on the 18th, at dichotomy (half-phase) on the 25th, at its highest altitude on the 28th, and at greatest eastern elongation on the 29th.
Venus rises in the east this month, but will remain too low to be seen. It is in conjunction with Neptune on the 27th, and in conjunction with Jupiter on the 30th. Neither of these events will be visible.
Mars will be very difficult to see this month, rising just before dawn in the east. It will be in conjunction with Saturn on the 4th and in conjunction with the Moon on the 25th.
Jupiter cannot be seen this month as it stays below the horizon during the night. It will be in conjunction with Neptune on the 12th, in conjunction with the Moon on the 27th and in conjunction with Venus on the 30th. None of these events will be visible.
Saturn is visible during the second half of the month rising in the southeastern sky just before sunrise. It will be in conjunction with Mars on the 4th and in conjunction with the Moon on the 24th.
Uranus is too faint to be seen with the naked eye. It is only in the sky for the first half of the month, appearing low in the western horizon. There will be a lunar occultation of Uranus on the 3rd and it will be in conjunction with Mercury on the 18th.
Neptune is too faint to be seen with the naked eye. This month is will stay beneath the horizon. Neptune will be in conjunction with Jupiter on the 12th and in conjunction with Venus on the 27th. Neither of these events will be visible.
New Moon: 1st, 30th
First Quarter: 9th
Full Moon: 16th
Last Quarter: 23rd
The Moon is at perigee, its closest point to the Earth, on the 19th, and apogee, its furthest point from the Earth on the 7th. This effect is not visually apparent.
The Moon is at perihelion, its closest point to the Sun, on the 28th, and aphelion, its furthest point from the Sun on the 18th. This effect is not visually apparent.
The Lyrids reach their peak on the 22nd. The radiant (apparent origin point) of the meteors will be in the constellation of Hercules. Meteors will be visible as long as this point is, which will be all night. Best displays are likely to be shortly before dawn when the radiant is at its highest point. There will be 17 meteors visible per hour.
Points of Interest
The comet C/2021 F1 (Lemmon-PANSTARRS) will be brightest on the 3rd, allowing viewing using at least a 4-inch telescope. It lies in the constellation of Pisces and will reach perihelion on the 6th.
The dwarf planet 136108 Haumea will be at opposition on the 19th. It lies in the constellation of Boötes and is visible all night, with its highest point being around midnight.
Visit Spot the Station to find out when the ISS will be visible from your location.
Last updated: April 21st