Hello fellow stargazers! This month the big event will be a penumbral lunar eclipse, but there are also two meteor showers, two comets at perihelion, many conjunctions, and one near-Earth object making a close approach to Earth.
Hello fellow stargazers! This month the big event will be a rare hybrid solar eclipse, but unfortunately it will be visible to only a few small areas of the world. For the rest of us, we have two large objects at opposition: dwarf planet Haumea as well as large asteroid Iris. There will also be two meteor showers as well as many conjunctions.
On the night of April 22 and 23 the Lyrids meteor shower will peak. It is an average shower, usually producing about 20 meteors per hour at its peak, although some meteors may be seen any time from April 16 to 25. It originates from dust particles left behind by comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher, which was discovered in 1861.
On April 15 the planet Saturn will be at Opposition. The ringed giant will be at its closest approach to the Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the Sun. It will be the best time to view and photograph Saturn and its moons.
On March 3, Mars was at opposition. The Earth passed Mars as the two planets wheeled around the sun in their respective orbits. This time the opposition was an unfavorable one because Mars was at aphelion on February 15, which means it was at its farthest point from the sun.
The Lyrids are an average meteor shower with about 20 meteors per hour at their peak on April 21 and 22. These meteors can produce bright dust trails that last for several seconds. The shower is most spectacular during the peak on April 21 and 22, but some meteors can still be spotted from April 16 to 25. The meteors will be radiating from the constellation of Lyra after midnight.