What to See in the Night Sky
Welcome to the April 2018 Sky Watch! See what to look for in the night sky tonight, including bright planets, the full Moon, and more celestial highlights!
Sky Watch April 2018
by Bob Berman, as featured in The 2018 Old Farmer’s Almanac
What’s in April’s night sky? Here are the highlights:
Mars and Saturn continue their conjunction in predawn Sagittarius from the 1st to the 3rd, as the Red Planet reaches magnitude zero. Its brightening is now accelerating rapidly.
On April 2 and 3, the Moon is near Jupiter, which rises just after 10:00 P.M.
The Moon joins Mars and Saturn on April 6–7, with those planets now rising just after 2:00 A.M. and up at dawn. Read my post about the Moon, Saturn, Mars Conjunction.
Venus is now 15 degrees high as evening twilight deepens; it is brilliant but far from the maximum dazzle that it will attain at summer’s end.
The Crescent Moon and Venus
Look for some beautiful pairings of the slender crescent Moon and brightest planet Venus the evenings of April 17, 18, and 19. Look towards the western horizon at twilight before the Sun sets.
The crescent Moon passes to Venus’s right on the 17th. Then, the Moon will move up and away from Venus on April 18 and 19.
Venus glides just to the left of the famous Pleiades star cluster from the 24th to the 27th—a fine sight in binoculars.
Click here for a free sky map to navigate April’s night sky!