April Skies 2022
The old saying of the early bird catches the worm could never be truer for the keen astronomer beginning in Late March and continuing throughout April.
The highlight in the early hours of the morning is a procession of conjunctions between both the moon and planets.
Mostly happening within the bounds of the constellation of Capricorn “the sea goat” it will be plain and obvious in the eastern morning sky.
Beginning on the morning of Monday the 28th of March you will see a straight line conjunction between the Moon-Mars-Venus with Rudy Red Mars sandwiched between the bright Moon and Venus. Venus itself is closer still to Saturn and will draw ever closer as the month progresses.
The scene repeats again the next morning, this time with the thin Crescent moon below and to the right of Saturn.
As we come to April we are greeted by the new moon on the 1st which means moonless Morning sky’s to explore the planets and perhaps have a closer look at a few deep sky objects (DSO’s) nearby.
One of these DSO’s that has its namesake in the currently nearby giant planet is the “Saturn Nebula” or NGC7009. This stellar remnant is the puffy disc of gas and dust illuminated by the now white Dwarf star at its Center. Getting its name from its superficial resemblance to Saturn through early telescopes.
You can find it on the attached chart, certainly worth a look !
The morning of the 5th of April will certainly be worth a close look through a telescope with a very close conjunction between Saturn and Mars at just 0.4 degrees apart.
Rising at 3:30 am they will be at their best between 4:30 and 5:30 am.
The month of April rounds out with a series of conjunction between the Moon and the planets, as they slip into the constellation of Aquarius.