By Heather Durham | March 31, 2020
Before we review this month’s activities, I want to unpack one term which has arisen during our recent situation. I am speaking about distancing … but physical distancing rather than the perhaps misused social distancing. I am fortunate enough to be able to be remain physically distant from others because I reside in my own home and am able to function from there.
Socially, on the other hand, I connect often with others, whether it be by phone, email, FaceTime, or online audio, and/or video conferencing. I recommend strongly that you think along the same lines. We all need to keep in touch and look after one another.
Having said that, let’s now proceed to see what the skies have in store for us during April of 2020.
April 1 – First quarter of the moon. The Sombrero Galaxy from Virgo May be viewable with binoculars or a telescope.
April 2 – Asteroid 3 Juno from the Constellation Virgo should be viewable this evening.
April 3 – Mercury and Neptune will be rising. Pleiades, also known as the Seven Sisters from the Constellation Taurus will be viewable with Venus.
April 4 – A spiral galaxy, M94, from the Constellation Canes Venatici will be on display but not for the naked eye. A jewel box open star cluster known as NGC 4755 will be visible.
April 7 – Today we will have a full moon. Because it will be at its closest point to the Earth, it may appear a bit larger than usual.
April 9 – Jupiter and Pluto, both from the Constellation Sagittarius will be rising in the same direction.
April 10 – The Moon will be as far from the Earth as possible this evening.
April 13 – Eris, or dwarf planet 136199 is the most massive and second largest known dwarf planet in the Solar System, according to Wikipedia, will pass very close to the Sun. (Wikipedia,2019). Centaurus A or NGC 5128 will be visible but not with the naked eye. Omega Centauri, a bright globular cluster should be visible to the naked eye providing your view point is very dark.
April 14 – This will be the final quarter of the Moon this month. The Moon and Jupiter will rise together. The Moon, Jupiter and Pluto will be on display together. The whirlpool galaxy or M51 will be visible.
April 15 – The Moon and Saturn will rise and closely approach one another. M83 from the galaxy Hydra will be visible, but not with the naked eye.
April 16 – The Moon and Mars will rise and closely approach one another. 136108 Haumea from the Constellation Bootes will be viewable.
April 17 – Once again this month we have another visit from the Canes Venatici, M3, a globular cluster.
April 19 – The Moon will orbit to its closest point to the Sun.
April 20 – The Moon will appear slightly smaller on this date as it orbits to the farthest point to the Earth.
April 21 – The Moon and Mercury will rise together.
April 22 – The Lyrid meteor shower from the Constellation Hercules will be at its peak. The pinwheel galaxy, M101 from the Constellation Ursa Major may be viewable, but not with the naked eye. There will be a new moon tonight.
April 23 – The n-puppid meteor shower will be at it’s peak today.
April 26 – Uranus will pass very close to the Sun today. The Moon and Venus will rise together.
April 28 – Venus will be at it’s brightest today.
April 30 – The Moon will be at its first quarter today.
In-the-Sky. (2020, March 30). Calendar of Astronomical Events. Retrieved from in-the-sky.org/newscal.php?month=4&year=2020&maxdiff=7#datesel
Wikipedia. (2020, March 31). Eris (Dwarf Planet). Retrieved from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eris_(dwarf_planet)