Mercury is getting closer to the Sun and best seen from 9.10 pm to 10 pm. Look low at the horizon in the West North West in the constellation Aries. The planet Venus is getting further from the Sun and is very low on the horizon in the early mornings around 5.30 am, before Sun rise and in the constellation Pisces. The red planet Mars is low on the horizon and best seen from 11.20 pm until Sun rise in the constellation Ophiuchus. The giant planet Jupiter is best seen from 8.40 pm until the planet sets at about 4.25 am. Jupiter is in the constellation Leo. Saturn is visible from 11.35 pm until the morning at 5 am and is low on the horizon in the constellation Ophiuchus.
Wednesday 27 April
Satellites are easy to spot in the night skies. They move slowly as a “dot” or “star” between the stars in the night sky. Watch them with the naked eye. Iridium flares do lit up or get brighter at certain positions, when their antennas are turned into the Sunlight under the horizon. At 9.39 pm a flare appears in the North East at an altitude of 76° in the constellation Ursa Major. Another flare appears at 11.20 pm in the West at an altitude of 20° in the constellation Gemini.
When you use a small telescope or a steady and good binocular, you can see the 4 bright Moons and the surface of the giant planet Jupiter. At 2.31 am the Great Red Spot will transit the disc of the planet.
At 3.34 am the Moon is in maximum libration. At 4.30 am the Moon close to the star Rho1 Sgr and they are about 10 lunar diameters apart. The waning gibbous Moon lies close to the Teaspoon asterism in the constellation Sagittarius this morning.
Thursday 28 April
Today in 1930 the first footage of the 1.5 minute totality of an eclipse of the Sun was taken from an airplane flying about 18000 feet over at Honey Lake in California. The flight was sponsored by the US Naval Observatory.
The Great Red Spot is in transit on Jupiter's disc at 10.33 pm
At 11.18 pm an Iridium flare is visible in the North North East at a low altitude of 7° in the constellation Andromeda. Another flare appears at 11.23 pm in the West at an altitude of 18° in the constellation Gemini.
The Jupiter Moon Ganymede ends its shadow transit at 11.55 pm.
Another rather bright flare appears at 0.21 am in the South West at an altitude of 40° in the constellation Leo. And one more at 2.14 am in the North North West at an altitude of 10° in the constellation Auriga.
Friday 29 April
A bright Iridium flare is visible at 11.17 pm in the West and 18° above the horizon in the constellation Gemini.
The Moon is in maximum libration West at 11.24 pm. The crater Grimaldi is tipped into the Earth's view.
The Jupiter Moon Io begins its transit over the planet at 2.41 am.
At 4.28 am it is Last Quarter Moon.
An Iridium flare appears at 5.06 am in the South West at an altitude of 70° in the constellation Hercules.
Saturday 30 April
Two Iridium flares are visible in a rather close time period. One at 11.17 pm in the North North East and at an altitude of 13° in the constellation Lacerta. And shortly after, at 11.20 pm in the West at an altitude of 15° in the constellation Gemini.
At 11.57 pm the Jupiter Moon Io disappears for an occultation. At 3.17 am the Jupiter Moon Io ends its eclipse.
Sunday 1 May
Today in 1851 the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations opened in Hyde Park in London. This was the first international exhibition to be held in any country. Housed in Paxton's magnificent Crystal Palace, it provided a showcase for many thousands of inventions.
The constellation Bootes, the Herdsman, is well placed for observation in the night sky tonight. Bootes is a curious constellation for various reasons. Firstly, it has a very distinctive kite-like shape and, and secondly, despite being a herdsman, on first glance there doesn’t appear to be a herd nearby. In reality, the ancient Greeks saw the seven brightest stars of Ursa Major or Big Dipper as being oxen pulling a plough, which helps to explain why that group of stars is known as the Plough. Its brightest star, Arcturus, is the 4th brightest star in the sky. An orange giant star, it lies almost 37 light years away and can easily be found by drawing a curved line down through the three stars of Ursa Major’s tail.
At 10.12 pm the Jupiter Moon Io begins its shadow transit.
An Iridium flare appears in the West at 11.14 pm at an altitude of 16° in the constellation Gemini.
At 11.23 pm the Jupiter Moon Io ends its transit. At midnight the Jupiter Moon Europa disappears for an occultation and at 0.27 am the Jupiter Moon Io ends its shadow.
Monday 2 May
At 9.46 pm the Jupiter Moon Io ends its eclipse.
A very bright Iridium flare appears at 0.07 am in the South West at an altitude of 39° in the constellation Leo.
At 1.40 am the Great Red Spot is in transit on the Jupiter disc.
Another bright Iridium flare appears at 3.11 am in the West North West at an altitude of 42° in the constellation Ursa Major.
Tuesday 3 May
The Great Red Spot is in transit on Jupiter at 9.32 pm.
At 11.09 pm a rather bright flare is visible in the North North East at an altitude of 18° in the constellation Lacerta. Another bright Iridium flare appears at 11.21 pm in the West North West at an altitude of 12° in the constellation Gemini.
The Jupiter Moon Europa ends its shadow crossing at 11.51 pm.
The Lunar Crescent is visible 63 hours before New Moon at 5 am. The Moon is 10% illuminated. The Moon rises at 4.37 am, 50 minutes before the Sun. The waning crescent Moon returns to the predawn sky as it skims through the faint stars of Pisces. With no bright stars or planets nearby, the Moon appears to be quite solitary in the morning twilight, but Earthshine will illuminate its darkened surface and allow the whole of the Moon to be visible.
Wednesday 4 May
Satellites are visible with the naked eye. They move slowly, as "stars" or "dots" in the night sky. Iridium flares sudden lit up at certain times and at certain places in the night sky. At 10.15 pm an Iridium flare appears in the North at an altitude of 11° in the constellation Cassiopeia. Another flare appears at 11.15 pm in the West North West at an altitude of 13° in the constellation Gemini. A brighter flare is visible at 11.24 pm in the West North West at an altitude of 11° in the constellation Gemini.
When you have a small telescope or you can hold a good binocular steady, you can see the 4 bright Moons of the giant planet Jupiter. You also can see some activity on the planet's disc. At 3.19 am the Great Red Spot is in transit on the planet.
The Lunar Crescent is visible at 5.20 am and 39 hours before New Moon. The Moon is 4% illuminated and the Moon rises at 5.06 am, 19 minutes before the Sun.
This evening the Eta‐Aquarid meteor shower is active. Watch some shooting stars!
Get in touch with me via www.patrickpoitevin.weebly.com if you need more information.