If you are planning to watch the sky this week, then you are in for a treat. Since spring is here, Arcturus will be visible in the east; the crescent Moon will traverse the night sky, and Jupiter will shine brightly.
There are plenty of reasons why you should watch the sky this week, but let’s take it chronologically.
Saturday, April 2nd
Take advantage of the warm weather and the free day and stay up late. You will get a chance to see Arcturus, which shines as bright as Sirius in the Spring.
Sunday, April 3rd
If you draw an invisible line from Castor, continue towards Pollux and 26 degrees further, you will reach the head of the Sea Serpent, or the Hydra Constellation. You have better chances of seeing the constellation if you use binoculars.
Monday, April 4th
If you own a telescope and live in North America than it is high time you dust it off and put it to good use. On Monday, Jupiter will have a double shadow. This phenomenon is due to the fact that both Europa and Io will cast their shadows on the planet. The event will take place between 2:37 and 3:19 AM.
Tuesday, April 5th
At nightfall, the Winter Hexagon will still be visible in the sky. Sirius will shine brightly in the southwest, in the left lower corner of the Hexagon. Just above Sirius, Astronomy fans will be able to see Procyon. After identifying it, they could go even further up high and reach Castor and Pollux.
At Castor’s lower right will be Capella and at the left Aldebaran. From there they can follow the invisible line going even lower left and reach Rigel.
Wednesday, April 6th
Starting at 9:52 PM and ending at 12:07 AM, Io will cross Jupiter’s face. It’s shadow, which is far better visible, will follow from 10:32 PM and ending at 12:47 AM.
Meanwhile, Jupiter’s other big moon, Europa, will disappear behind the preceding limb of Jupiter starting at 10:48 PM.
Thursday, April 7th
Io will emerge from the eclipse caused by Jupiter’s shadow at 10:04 PM.
At precisely 7:47 a New Moon will be observed.
Friday, April 8th
If you look west at twilight and use the position of the crescent moon as a guidepost, you will be able to find Mercury with no major problems.
Chi Leonis will be visible at a close distance to Jupiter. On the night sky, the star will look like one of the gas giant’s moons.
Image source: Flickr