April 2019

Mars and Uranus at the start of April 2019.

As we start April 2019, Uranus and Mars are both evening objects. The former will probably require a pair of binoculars or a telescope for you to see. It will also require a sufficiently dark sky. But it’s there between Pisces and Cetus in the west not long after the sun goes down. Mars is higher and easier to see. Spot the red planet a little south of the Pleiades. By the 4th, Mars is between the Pleiades and the Hyades. It is already passing them up when the moon’s in the neighborhood on the 8th and 9th.

The evening constellations in April.

You should not expect to see Uranus in the second half of the month due to the planet approaching conjunction on the 22nd. Mars continues in the direction it’s been going. By the start of May, the planet is clearly on track for the space between the stars Elnath and Tianguan.

Mars positions in April 2019

Orion, Canis Major, and Gemini are high in the west at dusk. Look for the fainter stars of Monoceros among them. This celestial giraffe doesn’t get anywhere near as much attention. Point it out, and you might impress acquaintances who don’t even know of the constellation. Closer to the meridian at dusk are Cancer and Leo. Rising in the east are Virgo, Bo├Âtes, and Libra. Coma Berenices and Corona Borealis are some of the noteworthy dimmer constellations in that part of the sky.

Jupiter and Saturn in April 2019.

Jupiter rises after local midnight at the start of April, before local midnight by the end of the month. Its apparent motion is slow enough, first barely moving in one direction and then barely moving in the other, many astronomers would describe it as stationary. It’s in the fringes of Ophiuchus between Antares and Sagittarius. Wait long enough and you’ll see Saturn to the left of Sagittarius. You’ll see that it is also a slow mover, slowing down to become stationary this month.

The moon is close to Jupiter on the 23rd. The moon passes Saturn two mornings later.

Venus and Mercury at five-day intervals in April 2019.

Mercury and Venus start the month in Aquarius. The moon is with them. Of course, it won’t be for long. But the two planets will travel together for an extended pairing. It begins with Venus heading quickly for Mercury. Then Mercury picks up speed. Around the 14th, they travel northward along the dawn horizon into Pisces. The two are separating, but ever bright Venus remains a good guide to finding the much dimmer Mercury for the rest of April.

Mercury is at aphelion, 0.467 astronomical units from the sun, on the 10th. Venus is at aphelion, 0.728 au from the sun, on the 18th.

The moon occults Tejat on the 11th. It’s visible from the eastern Indian Ocean. The moon occults Saturn on the 25th. That event is visible from southeast Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, and the Southwest Pacific Basin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *