Mark Alan Lovewell

Moon and Planets

In the wee hours of Sunday morning the last quarter moon appears only a few degrees from the ringed-planet Saturn. The two are in the zodiacal constellation Capricornus.

The two rise together around midnight and take charge of the predawn morning sky.

The moon advances two mornings later into the zodiacal constellation Pisces and appears near both Mars and Jupiter. If you miss it, you’ll get another chance early on Wednesday morning. Jupiter is the brighter of the two planets. Mars appears as a dull red.

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Total Lunar Eclipse
The full moon will slip into the Earth’s shadow late Sunday night.
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Crescent Moon and Gemini
Tonight a thin crescent moon appears fairly high in the southwestern sky after sunset.
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Jupiter and Venus

The two brightest planets in our sky are visible in the morning. Venus and Jupiter are so close they can talk to each other. This weekend they are less than a degree apart.

You’ll discover this beautiful sight if you can get up early enough in the morning, at least an hour before sunrise. The two are in the east. Venus is the brighter of the two.

Moon, Mercury and Pleiades

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Lyrid Meteor Shower

Tonight (April 22) is the peak night for the Lyrid meteor shower. The best viewing will be outdoors gazing northeast, the darker the sky the better.

The numbers of meteors can range to a few an hour to a large number. There have been estimates of less than 20 meteors in an hour, but don’t count on it. Most of the meteors will appear to come from the northeast, in the vicinity of the constellation Lyra.

A gibbous moon, almost in the last quarter, will interfere when it rises after midnight.

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Planetary Lineup
Four visible planets will line up almost perfectly in the morning sky on Monday.
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Mercury
Mercury is our only evening planet.
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Morning Planets
The best planetary show this month is in the morning. The assembly of nearly all the visible planets will change through the coming mornings.
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Moon and Three Planets
This Sunday morning there is a treat for those who rise early enough before sunrise.
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Mud Moon

Tonight’s full moon is called the Mud Moon on the Vineyard. The moon is in the constellation Virgo, not far from the constellation’s brightest star Spica. There are no planets to view in the evening sky which gives the moon even greater importance.

In other communities, the moon is called the Worm Moon. Worms are still dormant in this latitude. Mud is more familiar in March than worms, hence the name.

Venus

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