First Quarter: 3rd
Full Moon: 10th
Last Quarter: 19th
New Moon: 25th
Forget Mercury this month. It’s too close to the Sun to see.
Venus starts the month rising just before dawn in the east and gets higher in the sky as the month goes on. It is very bright with a magnitude of -4.7, which is as bright as it ever gets. Always be careful to never risk looking at the sun with a telescope.
Mars starts the month in Taurus with an elevation of around 11 degrees above the western horizon at sunset. As the month goes on this elevation decreases to only about 5 degrees by the end of the month, becoming lost in the Sun’s glare, then passing behind the Sun. Mars will not be visible through the entire summer, so get the last few glimoses in while you can.
Jupiter reached opposition on April 7th, which means that the King of the planets now rises at dusk in Virgo. We are pulling away from Jupiter, so it will start to slowly get smaller and dimmer. That said, it is still one of the brightest objects in the night sky, magnitude -2.3 or so. Take some time to watch the four Galilean Moons (Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto). Easily viewed through large binoculars or a small telescope, they revolve around Jupiter at a much faster rate than our Moon revolves around Earth. In the case of Io, 10 hours. These are the four largest moons of Jupiter out of 67 moons! Wow! That’s a lot! And they are larger than any of the Dwarf Planets (such as Pluto). A slightly larger telescope will permit you to observe the bands on the planet as well as the Giant Red Spot. The King, in all his glory! Easy and fun!
Saturn is in Sagittarius, rising around 11:30pm. It’s very bright at about magnitude +0.2 It never gets very high for the rest of the year. Still, though it may be small now, Saturn NEVER disappoints. Enjoy!
Nope. Not this month. It rises after the Sun, and sets before the Sun does. ‘Nuf said.
Neptune rises around 3 am and will be low in the East before sunrise. Always be careful to never risk looking at the sun with a telescope.