Soon after sunset, there are two bright planets standing out among the stars.
Jupiter is the brightest of celestial objects in the night sky and is high in the west. Jupiter resides in the zodiacal constellation Gemini. The red planet Mars is rising in the southeastern sky and it, too, is easy to find. Mars is in the zodiacal constellation Virgo and is closer to the Earth than it has been in over two years.
The ringed planet Saturn rises before 11 p.m. The planet is a dull yellow compared to both Mars and Jupiter.
Anyone up after midnight can see all three planets: Jupiter, Mars and Saturn. After midnight Jupiter can be seen as it is setting in the west, Mars will be almost due south, low in the sky, and Saturn is rising in the east.
Lyrid Meteor Shower
The annual Lyrid Meteor Shower offers a mild version of a late night meteor shower on Monday evening. While astronomers predict that one can count anywhere from 20 to 40 meteors in an hour, experience has shown that the number is more like 10 an hour.
If looking after midnight, the radius of the shower is in the small constellation Lyra, hence its name. The meteors will appear to come from that constellation, in the eastern sky.
The bright last quarter moon will also be rising in the east around midnight, though, and will interfere with visibility.
|Fri., April 18||5:57||7:25|
|Sat., April 19||5:56||7:25|
|Sun., April 20||5:54||7:27|
|Mon., April 21||5:53||7:28|
|Tues., April 22||5:51||7:29|
|Wed., April 23||5:50||7:30|
|Thurs., April 24||5:48||7:31|
|Fri., April 25||5:47||7:32|
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