Sky Watch: April 2017

April Moon Meets Jupiter

April 5, 2017
Universe at Night

Welcome to the April 2017 Sky Watch, courtesy of The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Here are the month’s night sky highlights, including conjunctions, meteor showers, and planets. 

Sky Watch April 2017

by Bob Berman, as featured in The 2017 Old Farmer’s Almanac
(Note: Times listed below are ET.)

What’s up in April? Here are the highlights:

  • Mercury is low in the western sky from the 1st to the 6th, in Aries.
  • Mars, above it, moves into Taurus and drops lower at nightfall. At only magnitude 1.5, the Red Planet does not command attention.
  • On April 7, Jupiter is at its brightest of the year as it comes closest to Earth! Jupiter is at “opposition” (in the opposite direction from the Sun as seen from Earth). In fact, this is Jupiter’s most distant opposition since 2005 as the immense gas giant completes its 12-year orbit. Jupiter shines at magnitude –2.5, floating above the blue star Spica, rising at sunset and out all night.


  • On April 10, Jupiter reaches a tight conjunction with the Moon. Both objects will rise together in the east moments after the Sun sets in the west.
  • Saturn rises at 1:00 a.m. in midmonth and dangles below the Moon on the 16th.
  • Venus begins its morning star apparition and sits to the left of the Moon on the 23rd, before becoming its brightest on the 30th.

For a full year of Sky Watch—plus astronomical information—pick up a copy of The 2017 Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Sky Map April 2017

skymap_march2017_half_width.pngUse our Sky Maps (Star Charts) to locate the stars, planets, and other objects in the sky. 

We offer printable sky maps, too, to help you know what you’re seeing when you look up!

Click here for our free April Sky Map!


The 2017 Old Farmer's Almanac

Reader Comments

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sky watch predictions

is it possible to automatically be emailed each month's sky watch predictions at the beginning of the month or at the end of the month for the following one?

Sky Watch alert

Hi Kristina, We don’t have at automatic Sky Watch email, but this is a good idea which we’ll share with the staff! In the meantime, we DO have the Almanac Companion newsletter. This newsletter is sent straight to your in-box several times a week with seasonal advice and updates. Sky Watch is one of the features at the start of each month. Learn more and subscribe on this page:  Sincerely, your OFA editors