Night Sky for April 2019

April Bright Planets and Stars

By Bob Berman
March 31, 2019
Moon and Earth

The Moon, the Earth’s limb, and thin blue atmosphere are seen in this photograph taken by an Expedition 51 crew member.

NASA

Welcome the Almanac Sky Watch for April 2019!  We’re here to help backyard stargazers navigate the night sky—from bright planets to constellations.

Sky Watch April 2019

by Bob Berman, as featured in The 2019 Old Farmer’s Almanac

  • Mercury is now a morning star and on the 1st participates in an alignment low in the east some 40 minutes before sunrise: Look to see, from highest to lowest, the Moon, Venus, and Mercury.
  • On the 2nd, the Moon is below Venus, with Mercury to their left.
  • Jupiter, brightening steadily, now appears several hours before sunrise, high enough for useful telescopic observation at dawn.
  • Saturn is marginally high enough, too, but its rings are not as wide open as they’ve been in recent years.
  • Mars, now in Taurus and fading, stands above the fat waxing crescent Moon on the 8th.

Spring Constellations

  • Orion, the Hunter, brightest of all constellations, is well placed for viewing. This is the time of year when Orion stands straight upright due south. The three stars of Orion’s belt form a straight horizontal line, with ruddy star Betelgeuse above them and blue-white Rigel below.
  • On any April evening, look for the Big Dipper shining in the northeast sky. It’s one of the most recognizable star patterns. See how to find the Big Dipper.
  • From Gemini, we move left and downward to the tiny constellation Canis Minor, the Lesser Dog. Only the presence of the bright star Procyon makes Canis Minor noteworthy. Your eyes will most likely be drawn to the bright star Sirius in Canis Major, the Greater Dog. Sirius is more than just an ordinary bright star; it is the brightest star in the night sky.  Here’s how to find Sirius and the Dogs.

See our April Sky Map for a free, printable star chart to navigate the night sky!

Source: 

The 2019 Old Farmer's Almanac

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