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Look up! What's happening in the night skies during April 2024

April 2024 promises to put on a captivating show for stargazers with a fully packed schedule of fascinating sights. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory offers a skywatching guide for the month of April, featuring the dance of two planets, the appearance of the devil comet, and a total solar eclipse that can be seen across much of the United States.

Skywatching in the first half of April

Early risers are in for a treat as Mars and Saturn make a close approach, rising together in the morning sky for several days in the first half of April. 

About 30 minutes before sunrise, these planets will be visible low in the east, approximately 10 degrees above the horizon. Their proximity reaches its peak on April 10th and 11th, making the second week of April an ideal time for observation.

Jupiter and the moon on April 10

The evening of April 10th brings another skywatching spectacle as Jupiter, shining as a bright, steady light, aligns with the moon in the western sky. This rendezvous occurs just after the moon has entered its “new moon” phase, revealing a slender, seven-percent illuminated crescent beside the gas giant. 

This arrangement provides a perfect backdrop for spotting the “devil comet” 12P/Pons-Brooks. This comet, which is growing brighter and is visible with binoculars or a small telescope, will be positioned just beneath the moon and to the right of Jupiter. Skywatchers are advised to act quickly, as the comet will soon set, and its visibility will diminish as it approaches the Sun.

Total solar eclipse on April 8

April will also host a total solar eclipse – a rare and unique viewing experience. The eclipse, occurring on April 8th, marks the second such event to traverse a wide swath of the United States in recent years, with the next not expected for another 21 years. 

Path of totality 

For those within the path of totality, the eclipse promises an unforgettable experience as the moon completely obscures the Sun. For individuals outside the path of totality, the eclipse still offers a spectacle in the form of a partial solar eclipse, visible throughout the continental U.S. 

Viewing the eclipse 

“In observing a partial eclipse, you’ll still need to use specialized eye protection, such as eclipse glasses, a pinhole projector, or a telescope with a solar filter,” says NASA.

“One of the easiest methods is something most of us have in our kitchen – a regular colander. These make excellent pinhole cameras that project the eclipse onto the ground. And barring that, the sun dapples that filter through the tree leaves do something very similar.”

“It’s also fun to note the eerie way the sunlight dims during the eclipse, especially in places where the moon covers 80% or more of the Sun’s disk.”

Live webcast 

To ensure everyone has the opportunity to enjoy this event, NASA has organized a live webcast covering the eclipse from multiple locations as it progresses across the country. 

This initiative is part of NASA’s broader efforts to engage the public in astronomical events through resources that include safe-viewing tips, citizen science opportunities, and the “eclipse explorer” tool, which offers detailed eclipse information for specific zip codes.

Lyrid meteor shower 

The Lyrid meteor shower of 2024 will reach its peak on the evening of April 21 through the early hours of April 22. While the Lyrids may not produce as much activity as the more famous showers like the Perseids or Geminids, they still offer a spectacular show.

Observers in areas free from light pollution can anticipate seeing around 18 meteors per hour at the peak of the shower. However, sightings of up to 100 meteors per hour have been recorded during exceptional displays. 

A waxing gibbous moon will illuminate the night sky during the peak of the Lyrids this year, with a full moon following the next night. The moonlight may hinder visibility, making the meteors harder to spot.

Pink Moon April 2024

April’s full moon, known as the Pink Moon, will reach its brightest point at 7:49 P.M. on Tuesday, April 23.

The Pink Moon is associated with pink flowers known as phlox that bloom in early spring in North America.

The name of the Pink Moon is symbolic, representing the renewal of spring. The full moon is linked to themes of rebirth and the blossoming of life that comes with this season.


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