This month is one of the best for stargazing. Spring evenings in mid-northern latitudes are often nice, and the pests have not taken over — yet! Even with daylight saving time (summer) in effect, evening darkness arrives early. During the majority of this month, the Sunsets between 7:30 and 8, and it is nice and dark by 9 p.m.
Something amazing is occurring right now in the predawn sky. Over the following few weeks, Jupiter and Saturn will progressively ascend into the eastern sky. Meanwhile, Venus and Mars remain essentially stationary about Earth due to their orbital motion.
As a result, Jupiter appears to be travelling toward Venus and Mars. While Saturn appears to be moving away from them. In the last few days of April, a crescent Moon joins the picture, as depicted below.
An alignment of four planets will adorn the pre-dawn sky in the United States in the first week of April 2022. All are visible before sunrise in the east-southeast sky. The planetary procession will provide astronomers and stargazers with several opportunities to see Venus, Mars, and Saturn, three of the brightest planets.
Many of the events may be viewed with the naked eye or binoculars, making it a fantastic opportunity for budding astronomers. The arrangement of Venus, Saturn, and Mars is within six degrees of separation, although it varies each morning.
Jupiter will make its presence known during the start of April 8, however, it will be well below and to the left of the other three planets. Jupiter, Venus, Mars, and Saturn will be spread out in a diagonal line spanning a little more than 30 degrees from the lower left to the upper right on April 19 morning, according to astronomers: Jupiter, Venus, Mars, and Saturn.
On Monday, April 4, 2022, Saturn and Mars will align
Saturn and Mars will be seen next to each other in the southeast sky, separated by less than one degree. Venus, a much brighter planet, will appear on the left. You will be able to distinguish the planets by their colours since the triangle is low in the sky. On the morning of March 25, Mars will seem orange, Saturn somewhat brighter yellowy-white colour. And Venus will be the brightest object in the night sky, creating the highest point of the triangle and moving slightly to the northeast.
Tuesday, April 5, 2022: Saturn and Mars align, as the Moon passes close to the Pleiades
The planet Saturn is visible sitting on top of Mars, separated by about a degree, just before sunrise. Nighttime views of the Pleiades star cluster show an approximately 21 per cent lit crescent moon around 3° away. Mars will approach Venus on April 6, 2022.
As it looks to crawl closer Venus, maars and Saturn will split farther this morning and during the following several mornings.
Jupiter will appear on Saturday, April 9, 2022, along with a First Quarter Moon
In the morning sky on April 9, Saturn, Mars, and Venus will all be visible, while Jupiter will peak above the horizon shortly before sunrise. Over the course of April, it will be visible multiple times as it rises higher into the sky. It will appear illuminated by 50% illuminated.
On April 30, Venus and Jupiter will be visible side by side in a telescope’s low-to-medium power view. It is separated by 0.45 degrees as seen from North America and seen jointly from a low-to-medium power viewpoint. Jupiter, on the other hand, will be on the other side of the sky, dominating the evening sky.
The predawn sky takes on some fascinating shapes as a result of all of this shifting. Two of these planets are within 12° of one another on April 5th, while the other two are near 12° of one another on April 29th. Do you want to know which ones go together? To learn out, listen to this month’s Sky Tour episode.
You might be wondering where Mercury fits into all of this. You will need to switch your gaze to the twilight sky to see this fast-moving planet. Late April offers the highest chance of seeing this planet all year. It includes when Mercury will pass quite near to a well-known star cluster.
All of the stars that are so familiar in northern winter’s nighttime skies will gently slip toward the western horizon. So this might be your final chance until the end of the year to see Orion and his unique Belt, as well as Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, and Aldebaran, the celestial Bull’s eye.
This is just a small taste of the heavenly spectacles you may expect to see in April. So go outdoors and follow the simple directions to learn what stars and planets you can see by downloading or listening to this month’s Sky Tour podcast.