The chart shows the whole sky, at the times given at the top left of the chart.
The edge of the chart is the HORIZON, and the ZENITH is at the centre.

This chart is for LATITUDE 54 degrees NORTH, and is produced using 'PLANETARIUM GOLD' software.

APRIL, 2020

 

 

 

April 2020

 

As April begins, the Sun is in the constellation of Pisces, but crosses the border into Aries at around 15h00 the 18th.

 

 The Moon

 

The Moon is at apogee, the furthest from the Earth, on April 20th at 19h.

 

Perigee, its nearest to the Earth, is at around 18h00 on the 7th

On the 1st at 10h22 the Moon is at First Quarter, in Gemini, and is one of the highest FQ moons of the year.There is a second FQ moon on the 30th at 20h39 in the constellation of Cancer.

 

 

 

Full Moon is on the 8th at 02h36 in Virgo, 8° to the upper right of Spica. This is the Paschal Full Moon, being the first Full Moon after the Vernal Equinox, as fixed by the Synod of Whitby in 664A.D. when the synod decided to follow the Western Christian Tradition.

Last Quarter Moon is at 22h57 on the 14th in eastern Sagittarius.

April’s New Moon is on the 23rd at 02h26 in the constellation of Cetus, as it passes 4° south of the Sun.

Look for Earthshine’s faint illumination of the night hemisphere at the time of the waxing crescent Moon on the 23rd to the 29th, and the low waning crescent from the 16th to the 22nd.

 

A final chance to see the evening cone of the Zodiacal Light occurs on fine evenings from the 10th to the 24th.

 

Its appearance is of a cone of pale light of less intensity than that of the Milky Way rising up from the western sky at an angle of 60° towards the south. It is caused by the Sun back-lighting the disc of fine particles surrounding the Sun in the inner solar system; all that remains of the accretion disc which formed the planets 4.5 million years ago.

 

The Planets

Mercury is too near to the Sun, for observation during this month. The planet reaches superior conjunction with the Sun on May 4th.

Throughout April, Venus is a brilliant object in the western evening sky, setting around midnight. The planet is in conjunction with the Moon on the 26th, when the crescent Moon with earthshine lies some 6° to the lower left of Venus in the NW sky. The two objects at this time lie below Capella, brightest star in the constellation of Auriga, and third brightest star north of the celestial equator. On moonless nights, and when well away from artificial lights, try to observe the shadow cast by Venus. Hold your finger up between the planet and a sheet of white paper and observe the shadow cast by the planet on the paper. Venus is now at its greatest brilliance, with a visual magnitude of minus 4.5.

Throughout April, the magnitude of Mars increases from +0.8 to +0.4 as it moves eastwards through the constellation of Capricornus. During the month Mars is the easternmost of three visible planets; the other two being Saturn and Jupiter. Jupiter is the brightest of the trio in the constellation of Sagittarius and at a magnitude of minus 2.2. Saturn shines at magnitude +0.7 and lies between Mars and Jupiter. In the early hours of the 16th, the waning crescent Moon lies 3° below Mars low in the SE sky around 04h

Jupiter may be seen low in the SE sky in Sagittarius during April, and is the brightest object in that part of the sky. The last quarter Moon is in conjunction with Jupiter during the early morning of the 15th. The Moon lies 4° to the lower left of Jupiter and the fainter star-like object 5° to the upper left of the Moon is Saturn. The three objects form a pleasant trio in the SE sky at around 04h. Mars lies to the east of the trio.

Look for the Galilean moons through well-focused and firmly fixed binoculars as they change position night by night.

Saturn is on the Sagittarius/Capricornus boundary, and by the end of the month is the fainter of the three planets in that part of the sky. As mentioned in the Jupiter notes, the last quarter Moon is in conjunction with Saturn and Jupiter on the 15th.

Uranus is too near to the Sun to be seen during April and is in conjunction with the Sun on the 26th in the constellation of Aries. 

Similarly, Neptune, in Aquarius is too near the Sun in the morning twilit sky to be observed

Conditions are favourable for the Lyrids this year as the Moon does not detract from them in the early morning sky. Look for Lyrids during the early mornings of the 22nd / 23rd. The maximum number of meteors per hour is 15, and they seem to radiate from an area near Vega, the second brightest star in the northern sky.

 

The Lyrid meteor shower is associated with Thatcher’s Comet discovered in 1861, and the normal limits of activity are from the 14th to the 30th. The radiant culminates at 04h, so the greatest number of meteors may be expected towards dawn on the 22nd.

 

 

 

Constellations visible in the south around midnight, mid-month, are as follows: The eastern part of Hydra, Corvus the Crow, Virgo, Boötes and Coma Berenices. The Plough, in the constellation of Ursa Major, is still near the zenith.

 

All times are GMT     1° is one finger width at arm’s length.

 

 

 

 

April 2020

 

 SUMMARY

The phenomena of the month : APRIL 2020
Times are given in UT for SCARBOROUGH (0° 25' 0" W, 54° 16' 3" N, zone 0 - UNIVERSAL TIME).

 

Date Hour Description of the phenomenon
yyyy mm dd hh:mm

 


2020 04 01 10:21 FIRST QUARTER OF THE MOON
2020 04 01 14:01 Maximum of the variable star delta Cephei
2020 04 02 04:52 Minimum of the variable star beta Lyrae
2020 04 02 18:03 Maximum of the variable star eta Aquilae
2020 04 02 21:55 Opposition of the asteroid 3 Juno with the Sun (dist. to the Sun = 3.055 AU; magn. = 9.5)
2020 04 03 11:59 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2020 04 03 22:06 Close encounter between Venus and the Pleiades (topocentric dist. centre to centre = 0.3°)
2020 04 04 00:16 Close encounter between Mercury and Neptune (topocentric dist. centre to centre = 1.3°)
2020 04 04 09:11 Opposition of the asteroid 6 Hebe with the Sun (dist. to the Sun = 2.916 AU; magn. = 9.9)
2020 04 04 21:27 Close encounter between the Moon and Regulus (topocentric dist. centre to centre = 3.2°)
2020 04 05 03:00 Close encounter between Jupiter and Pluto (topocentric dist. centre to centre = 0.7°)
2020 04 06 08:48 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2020 04 06 22:48 Maximum of the variable star delta Cephei
2020 04 07 18:08 Moon at perigee (geocentric dist. = 356907 km)
2020 04 08 02:35 FULL MOON
2020 04 08 14:55 Comet 210P Christensen at its perihelion (dist. to the Sun = 0.532 AU; magn. = 11.4)
2020 04 09 00:05 Beginning of occultation of 95 Vir (magn. = 5.46)
2020 04 09 00:54 End of occultation of 95 Vir (magn. = 5.46)
2020 04 09 05:37 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2020 04 09 22:18 Maximum of the variable star eta Aquilae
2020 04 09 22:23 Maximum of the variable star zeta Gemini
2020 04 12 00:00 EASTER DAY
2020 04 12 02:26 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2020 04 12 07:36 Maximum of the variable star delta Cephei
2020 04 13 01:29 End of occultation of 7 Sgr (magn. = 5.37)
2020 04 13 01:35 Close encounter between the Moon and M 8 (topocentric dist. centre to centre = 0.1°)
2020 04 13 20:22 Opposition of the asteroid 354 Eleonora with the Sun (dist. to the Sun = 2.610 AU; magn. = 10.1)
2020 04 14 22:56 LAST QUARTER OF THE MOON
2020 04 14 23:16 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2020 04 15 03:27 Minimum of the variable star beta Lyrae
2020 04 17 02:31 Maximum of the variable star eta Aquilae
2020 04 17 16:23 Maximum of the variable star delta Cephei
2020 04 17 20:05 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2020 04 20 01:59 Maximum of the variable star zeta Gemini
2020 04 20 16:54 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2020 04 20 19:01 Moon at apogee (geocentric dist. = 406462 km)
2020 04 22 01:16 Meteor shower : Lyrids (18 meteors/hour at zenith; duration = 9.0 days)
2020 04 23 01:10 Maximum of the variable star delta Cephei
2020 04 23 02:26 NEW MOON
2020 04 23 12:33 Opposition of the asteroid 40 Harmonia with the Sun (dist. to the Sun = 2.358 AU; magn. = 9.8)
2020 04 23 13:43 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2020 04 24 06:44 Maximum of the variable star eta Aquilae
2020 04 24 08:30 Opposition of the asteroid 23 Thalia with the Sun (dist. to the Sun = 2.443 AU; magn. = 10.0)
2020 04 26 09:01 CONJUNCTION between Uranus and the Sun (geoc. dist. centre to centre = 0.4°)
2020 04 26 10:32 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)
2020 04 27 22:45 Close encounter between the Moon and M 35 (topocentric dist. centre to centr = 1.4°)
2020 04 28 02:00 Minimum of the variable star beta Lyrae
2020 04 28 09:58 Maximum of the variable star delta Cephei
2020 04 29 00:00 VENUS at maximum brightness (magn. -4.56)
2020 04 29 07:21 Minimum of the variable star Algol (beta Persei)

2020 04 30 05:37 Maximum of the variable star zeta Gemini

2020 04 30 20:38 FIRST QUARTER OF THE MOON

 

(Using Coelix Software) 

 



 

SELECTED LUNAR OCCULTATIONS VISIBLE FROM SCARBOROUGH UK THIS MONTH.

Source: 'Coelix' software