A Close Conjunction Of Mars And Saturn As Jupiter Shows Up For Spring: What To See In The Night Sky This Week

Each Monday I pick out the northern hemisphere’s celestial highlights (mid-northern latitudes) for the week ahead, but be sure to check my main feed for more in-depth articles on stargazing, astronomy, eclipses and more.

What To See In The Night Sky This Week: April 4-10, 2022

This is all about planets. Mars, Saturn and Venus will all be visible before sunrise, as the week wears on they will appear to get closer to one another. And as the week comes to an end the planetary trio will be joined by a fourth, the giant planet Jupiter, which will be visible low on the eastern horizon just before the Sun rises.

Monday, April 4, 2022: Saturn and Mars in conjunction

Look to the southeast sky this morning and will see Saturn and mars right next to each other, separated by less than one degree, which is roughly the width of the full moon. Just over to the left, you’ll find the much brighter planet Venus.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022: Saturn and Mars in conjunction

and the Moon near the Pleiades

If you can bear to get up early once again then look to the southeast about an hour before sunrise and you’ll see Saturn on top of Mars, still separated by around one degree. Come back many hours later after the Sun has set and you’ll see a 21% illuminated crescent moon about 3° (about three widths of a full Moon) from the sparkling star cluster the Pleiades.

Wednesday, April 6, 2022: Mars heads toward Venus

This morning, and for the next few mornings, you’ll be able to watch Mars increase its separation from Saturn as it appears to creep towards Venus.

Saturday, April 9, 2022: Jupiter appears and a First Quarter Moon

Look southeast once again an hour before sunrise and you will see Saturn, Mars and Venus strung out above the horizon. However, if you wait until just before sunrise, you may be able to see the giant planet Jupiter peak above the horizon just before it’s swallowed by the gathering Dawn. It’s going to get a lot brighter, as it rises higher into the sky during the rest of April.

It’s also a First Quarter Moon today, so our natural satellite will appear to be 50% lit.

Constellation of the week: Leo ‘The Lion’

The winter stars of Taurus and Orion are sinking in the west come dark. Coming right behind them is Leo “the lion,” a sure sign that Spring has sprung. This constellation’s brightest star is Regulus, which is about 78 light years away. To find it, look to the south at about 10 p.m., and you’ll see a shape that looks like a backwards question mark made up of six stars. Regulus is the star at bottom — the dot in the question mark — and it’s easily the brightest star in the constellation.

Star-hop of the week: ‘Arc to Arcturus, spike to Spica’

Find the Big Dipper in the northern sky. Its handle will be facing down towards the horizon. Follow that handle in an arc and you’ll come to Arcturus low in the eastern night sky. Arcturus is a very bright red giant star about 37 light years away. Now take a spike to the southeast, and you’ll see Spica just above the horizon. Spica is 261 light years away. You’ve just gone “arc to Arcturus, spike to Spica,” an important navigational “star-hop” only possible in spring.

Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.

Reference-www.forbes.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.