Night Sky for April 2024: The Total Solar Eclipse is here, plus planet sightings

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Solar Eclipse "Elements of this image furnished by NASA "
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What planets and stars can we see tonight?

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This is it. The big event for 2024 has arrived—the April 8 total solar eclipse—and it’s during the day! Get the eclipse, planet, and stargazing highlights for April from Bob Berman. No one’s better at explaining the wonders of the cosmos.

Total Solar Eclipse: April 8, 2024

In April, well, actually, in 2024, the best view of the skies will be during broad daylight! We’ve never seen a total solar eclipse that will reach as many Americans as this one. It will cut a broad path across North America, through Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, Maine, and into New Brunswick and Newfoundland, Canada.

I strongly urge observers to travel to the path, which is the only place you can truly witness the phenomenon of a total solar eclipse; a partial eclipse is a nothing-burger. See the eclipse path and read my Complete Guide to the Total Solar Eclipse.

Visible Planets of April

A dynamic showing of bright planets will be on display for the month of April. In early April, the planetary giant Jupiter sinks lower each nightfall until its close proximity to the horizon ends the gas giant’s reign as an evening star.

On April 6, the waning crescent Moon forms a beautiful triangle with Saturn and Mars, low in the eastern sky early in the morning (above 30 minutes before sunrise). Saturn appears just two degrees above the thin crescent Moon as a faint, yellow “star.” Mars appears to the upper right as a coppery-hued “star.”

Then, the next morning, April 7, the thin crescent Moon stands to the right of Venus at 6:15 A.M. You’ll need an unobscured view of the eastern horizon to be able to see this beautiful pairing.

On April 10, see yellowish Saturn and coppery Mars pair meet up, about 30 minutes before sunrise above the eastern horizon. In the evening, that bright “star” near the waxing crescent Moon is Jupiter!

Looking for more wonders of the night sky? Plan ahead with my Top Astronomical Events of 2024.

April 2024 Moon Phases

The Full Pink Moon of April rises on April 23, 2024, at 7:49 P.M (EDT). See your local Moon phases.

  • Last Quarter Moon: April 1
  • New Moon: April 8
  • First Quarter Moon: April 15
  • Full Moon: April 23

The traditional name of “Pink Moon” has nothing to do with its color; rather, this Moon marked the appearance of the moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the first spring flowers. See the complete April Full Moon Guide.

Lyrid Meteor Shower: April 21-22

Unfortunately, the Lyrids won’t have ideal conditions this year. The Moon will be nearly full during the Lyrids’ peak, which will make the shooting stars more difficult to see. Try watching in the early morning pre-dawn hours of the 23rd after the Moon has set and the shower’s radiant is high in the east. For more details, see our 2024 Meteor Shower Calendar.


Earth Day: April 22

Don’t forget to celebrate our own planet Earth on April 22, which is Earth Day! How can we appreciate the wonder and beauty of our home planet? Look at the sunset in the West and then spin yourself around to face East. What do you see near the horizon?

You’ll often notice a band of pink or orange-hued sky with a blueish band underneath. These bands move upward following sunset to form an arch over the sky that slowly fades as night sets in. The dark blue band is Earth’s shadow rising. Above it, the rosy-hued band is known as the “Belt of Venus.” The “Belt of Venus” is a cool phenomenon that forms an arch with Earth’s shadow at sunset! It’s a beautiful sight.


Find more ways to celebrate Earth Day!

About The Author

Bob Berman

Bob Berman, astronomer editor for The Old Farmer’s Almanac, covers everything under the Sun (and Moon)! Bob is the world’s most widely read astronomer and has written ten popular books. Read More from Bob Berman

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