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What’s up in the sky?: Week of 04/05-04/11

Clouds cleared out enough to get a shot of the Worm Moon. The first of four consecutive...
Clouds cleared out enough to get a shot of the Worm Moon. The first of four consecutive supermoons.(Tony Alverson)
Published: Apr. 5, 2021 at 12:09 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 5, 2021 at 12:10 AM EDT
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(WHSV) - As we head more into spring, let’s take a look at what’s up in the sky this week.

Adding Daylight

Over the next week, we will gain about 15 minutes of added daylight again. The rate at which we gain daylight will continue to go down. This week it will be 3 minutes from 2 hours and 27 minutes a day to 2 minutes and 24 seconds a day. By April 11th, sunrise will be at 6:44 am and sunset will be at 7:48 pm. We will have 13 hours and 3 minutes of daylight by April 11th with 10 hours and 57 minutes of darkness. September 1st will be the next time we have less than 13 hours of daylight.

ISS Viewing (Most Viewable)

Date and TimeTime VisibleMaximum Height (Degrees above the horizon)Direction it AppearsDirection it Disappears
Tue April 6, 8:12 pm7 min58°appears above WNWdisappears above SE
Mon April 5, 8:59 pm5 min32°appears above WNWdisappears above S

Starting April 9th, the International Space Station (ISS) will pass by during daylight and not be visible for the foreseeable future.

Moon Phases & Next Full Moon:

Moon PhaseDate and Time
New MoonApril 11th, 10:30 pm
First Quarter MoonApril 20th, 2:58 am
Full MoonApril 26th, 11:31 pm
Third Quarter MoonMay 3rd, 3:50 pm

The next full moon is called the Pink Moon. The Pink Moon’s name comes from the pink blooms of a wildflower Phlox subulata. This will be the second of four consecutive super moons in 2021.

Interesting Events:

Zodiacal light will continue after dusk for the next week. After evening twilight, the western sky will have a faint light for about half an hour. It will extend up to where Mars is located. We will have zodiacal light until April 11th when the new moon arrives. This will occur around 8:10 pm or later as we progress through the week.

Tuesday April 6th, in the southeastern sky before dawn look at when the waning crescent moon positioned several finger widths to the lower right of Saturn. After the moon rises at 4:15 am, you will be able to view the moon and Saturn together with binoculars. This will create a good photo opportunity.

Before dawn after 4 am, the moon and Saturn will be right next to each other in the sky.
Before dawn after 4 am, the moon and Saturn will be right next to each other in the sky.(Stellarium)

Wednesday April 7th, in the southeastern sky before dawn after around 5 am the moon will rise and sit less than a palm’s width below Jupiter. With binoculars, you may be able to see the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn at the same time. This will present another great photo opportunity.

Before dawn after 5 am the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn will be very close to each other in the sky.
Before dawn after 5 am the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn will be very close to each other in the sky.(Stellarium)

Friday April 9th, the Big Dipper asterism and its home constellation Ursa Major will be very high in the northern sky. Draw a line connecting the dipper stars Phecda to Dubhe and extend it by the amount equal from those to stars and you will see a galaxy named Bode’s Nebula or Messier 81. It will appear rather large and bright. Another galaxy named the Cigar or Messier 82 will be located half a degree to the north. This will allow both galaxies to be visible from a telescope at low magnification.

Bode's Nebula and Cigar will both be able to be seen with binoculars or a telescope.
Bode's Nebula and Cigar will both be able to be seen with binoculars or a telescope.(Stellarium)

Saturday April 10th, you can use the bright star in the Big Dipper, Alkaid and a palm to the left will be the Pinwheel galaxy also known as Messier 101. It will form an equilateral triangle with the star Mizar. You can then aim you telescope several finger widths to the upper right to discover the Whirlpool Galaxy, also known as Messier 51.

This is the Pinwheel Galaxy, its 21 million light-years away from Earth
This is the Pinwheel Galaxy, its 21 million light-years away from Earth(Stellarium)

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