This Week’s Sky at a Glance, April 9 – 17 – Sky & Telescope

Nova Cassiopeiae 2021 (V1405 Cas) was nonetheless holding on at about magnitude 8.2 as of April eighth. See Vibrant Nova Erupts in Cassiopeia.

Comet ATLAS, at present ninth or 10th magnitude, is excessive within the early-morning sky shifting from Aquila towards Hercules and awaiting 6-inch and bigger . See Bob King’s Make the Most of Comet ATLAS.

And on the finish of that article is data and a chart for the brand new Nova Sagittarii 2021 No. 2 simply off the spout of the Sagittarius Teapot. It is at present eighth magnitude and pretty nicely up within the -southeast earlier than the start of daybreak.

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FRIDAY, APRIL 9

■ As the celebs start to come back out in late twilight, Arcturus, the intense Spring Star climbing up within the east, stands simply as excessive as Sirius, the brighter Winter Star descending within the southwest. They’re each about 20° or 25° excessive for skywatchers at mid- latitudes.

These are the 2 brightest stars within the sky on the time. However Capella is a really shut runner-up to Arcturus. Spot it a lot greater within the northwest in early night.

, APRIL 10

■ By late night the Sickle of Leo stands almost vertical excessive within the south. Its backside star is Regulus, the brightest of Leo. Leo himself is strolling westward. The Sickle kinds his entrance leg, chest, mane, and a part of his head. Off to the left, a protracted proper triangle kinds his hind finish and lengthy tail.

Spot brighter Procyon almost 4 fists to the precise of Regulus and a bit decrease. About midway alongside that line and only a bit beneath, search for the dim head of Hydra, the Sea Serpent.

SUNDAY, APRIL 11

■ Right now of yr, the 2 Canine Stars stand vertically aligned in late twilight. Look southwest. Good Sirius in Canis Main is beneath, and Procyon in Canis Minor is excessive above. They’re roughly two fists aside.

■ That is additionally the time of yr when, because the final of twilight fades away, the bowl of the dim Little Dipper extends straight to the precise of Polaris within the north.

Excessive above the end-stars of the Little Dipper’s bowl, you will discover the end-stars of the Huge Dipper’s bowl. That pair is separated nearly twice as extensively.

■ New Moon (actual at 10:31 p.m. EDT).

MONDAY, APRIL 12

is crossing the road between the horntips of Taurus, Beta and Zeta Tauri, this night and tomorrow night.

Mars is just a hint fainter than Beta. However examine their colours: Beta is a bluish-white B7 star.

TUESDAY, APRIL 13

■ Vega, the intense “Summer time Star,” within the northeast in mid-evening. Precisely the place do you have to look ahead to it to come back up? Spot the Huge Dipper very excessive within the northeast. Take a look at Mizar on the bend of its deal with. If you happen to can see Mizar’s tiny, shut companion Alcor (binoculars present it simply), observe a line from Mizar by way of Alcor all the best way all the way down to the horizon. That is the place Vega will make its look.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14

■ Arcturus shines brightly within the east these evenings. It is the sharp finish of a protracted, slim kite-shaped asterism fashioned by the brightest stars of Bootes, the Cowherd. The kite is at present mendacity on its aspect, extending to Arcturus’s left. The top of the kite, on the far left, is bent barely upward. The kite is 23° lengthy, about two fist-widths at arm’s size.

THURSDAY, APRIL 15

■ The waxing crescent Moon shines close to Aldebaran and the Pleiades this night, as proven beneath.

This week each Mars and the Moon move upward between the horntip stars of Taurus

FRIDAY, APRIL 16

■ The waxing crescent Moon this night kinds a quadrilateral with Mars above it and Beta and fainter Zeta Tauri to the edges, as proven above.

SATURDAY, APRIL 17

■ Now the Moon shines higher left of tiny Mars, as proven above.

■ As Arcturus ascends the japanese sky, Capella (its shut match for brightness) is coming down within the northwest. They stand at precisely the identical peak above your horizon at some second between about 9 and 10 p.m. daylight-saving time, relying totally on how far east or west you reside in your time zone.

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This Week’s Planet Roundup

Mercury, Venus, Uranus, and Neptune all stay out of sight within the glare of the Solar.

Mars (magnitude +1.4, in Taurus) shines excessive within the west after darkish. Watch it move between Beta and Zeta Tauri, the horntips of Taurus, on April 12th and 13th. Mars is visibly fainter than orange Aldebaran down beneath it, to not point out brighter orange Betelgeuse to Mars’s left or decrease left. In a telescope Mars is a mere 5 arcseconds broad: a tiny, shimmering blob.

Jupiter and Saturn (each in Capricornus) are low within the southeast simply earlier than and through early daybreak. Saturn is barely the upper of the 2 (relying in your latitude), nevertheless it’s a lot dimmer at magnitude +0.7. Jupiter shines at magnitude –2.1, about 13° to Saturn’s decrease left.

Jupiter’s Nice Pink Spot aspect, imaged on April third by Christopher’s Go from his tropical latitude of 10° north. The darkish dot isn’t a moon’s shadow however darkish Callisto itself, caught in a uncommon equatorial transit throughout Jupiter. South right here is up. The northern two thirds of the Equatorial Zone are pale orange tan fairly than white. It is bordered on the north by the darkish pink fringe of the North Equatorial Belt.

All descriptions that relate to your horizon — together with the phrases up, down, proper, and left — are written for the ’s mid-northern latitudes. Descriptions that additionally rely upon longitude (primarily Moon positions) are for North America.

Japanese Daylight Time, EDT, is Common Time minus Four hours. Common Time is also referred to as UT, UTC, GMT, or Z time. To turn out to be extra knowledgeable about time methods than 99% of the folks you will ever meet, see our compact article Time and the Novice Astronomer.


Wish to turn out to be a greater astronomer? Be taught your approach across the constellations. They’re the important thing to finding all the pieces fainter and deeper to hunt with binoculars or a telescope.

That is an outside nature interest. For an easy-to-use constellation information masking the entire night sky, use the massive month-to-month map within the middle of every problem of Sky & Telescope, the important journal of astronomy.

When you get a telescope, to place it to good use you will want an in depth, large-scale sky atlas (set of charts). The essential normal is the Pocket Sky Atlas (in both the original or Jumbo Edition), which exhibits stars to magnitude 7.6.

Pocket Sky Atlas cover, Jumbo edition
The Pocket Sky Atlas plots 30,796 stars to magnitude 7.6, and a whole bunch of telescopic galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae amongst them. Proven right here is the Jumbo Version, which is in onerous covers and enlarged for simpler studying outside by pink flashlight. Sample charts. Extra concerning the present editions.

Subsequent up is the bigger and deeper Sky Atlas 2000.0, plotting stars to magnitude 8.5; almost 3 times as many. The following up, as soon as you realize your approach round, are the even bigger Interstellarum atlas (stars to magnitude 9.5) or Uranometria 2000.0 (stars to magnitude 9.75). And make sure to learn find out how to use sky charts with a telescope.

You may additionally desire a good deep-sky guidebook, resembling Sky Atlas 2000.0 Companion by Sturdy and Sinnott, or the larger (and illustrated) Night Sky Observer’s Guide by Kepple and Sanner.

Can a computerized telescope exchange charts? Not for newbies, I do not suppose, and never on mounts and tripods which can be lower than top-quality mechanically, which means heavy and costly. And as Terence Dickinson and Alan Dyer say of their Backyard Astronomer’s Guide, “A full appreciation of the universe can not come with out creating the to seek out issues within the sky and understanding how the sky works. This data comes solely by spending time beneath the celebs with star maps in hand.”


Audio sky tour. Out beneath the night sky together with your
earbuds in place, hearken to Kelly Beatty’s month-to-month
podcast tour of the heavens above. It is free.


“The hazards of not considering clearly are a lot larger now than ever earlier than. It isn’t that there is one thing new in our mind-set, it is that credulous and confused considering could be rather more deadly in methods it was by no means earlier than.”
            — Carl Sagan, 1996

“Info are cussed issues.”
            — John Adams, 1770

 


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