Mark Alan Lovewell

Crescent Moon and Gemini

Tonight a thin crescent moon appears fairly high in the southwestern sky after sunset.

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Jupiter and Venus

The two brightest planets in our sky are visible in the morning. Venus and Jupiter are so close they can talk to each other. This weekend they are less than a degree apart.

You’ll discover this beautiful sight if you can get up early enough in the morning, at least an hour before sunrise. The two are in the east. Venus is the brighter of the two.

Moon, Mercury and Pleiades

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Lyrid Meteor Shower

Tonight (April 22) is the peak night for the Lyrid meteor shower. The best viewing will be outdoors gazing northeast, the darker the sky the better.

The numbers of meteors can range to a few an hour to a large number. There have been estimates of less than 20 meteors in an hour, but don’t count on it. Most of the meteors will appear to come from the northeast, in the vicinity of the constellation Lyra.

A gibbous moon, almost in the last quarter, will interfere when it rises after midnight.

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Planetary Lineup

Four visible planets will line up almost perfectly in the morning sky on Monday.

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Mercury is our only evening planet.

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Morning Planets

The best planetary show this month is in the morning. The assembly of nearly all the visible planets will change through the coming mornings.

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Moon and Three Planets

This Sunday morning there is a treat for those who rise early enough before sunrise.

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Mud Moon

Tonight’s full moon is called the Mud Moon on the Vineyard. The moon is in the constellation Virgo, not far from the constellation’s brightest star Spica. There are no planets to view in the evening sky which gives the moon even greater importance.

In other communities, the moon is called the Worm Moon. Worms are still dormant in this latitude. Mud is more familiar in March than worms, hence the name.


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Mars and Venus

The two closest planets to the Earth are about to appear closest to each other on Tuesday morning. Venus and Mars, which we’ve been watching for weeks, are about to be almost close enough to talk to each other.

On Tuesday morning the two planets will be just less than four degrees apart. This is a great time to get the best of the show.

Get up early before sunrise. You’ll need a fairly clear view of the eastern sky. Venus is the easiest to spot. Take a second look for the considerably fainter Mars.

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Morning Planets

The bright planet Venus is easy to find in the hour before sunrise or earlier. Venus also is higher in the east too. Look more carefully nearby and the second brightest object is the red planet Mars. These two planets are getting closer and closer together. By mid-March they will be less than 4 degrees apart.

The show continues this month with the fainter planet Saturn appearing farther east, but it too will join with the other two.

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