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What’s up in the sky?: Week of 04/19-04/25

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. 18, 2021 at 10:44 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 18, 2021 at 10:45 PM EDT
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(WHSV) - Spring continues to move along as we are in the last full week of April! Let’s take a look at what’s up in the sky this week.

Adding Daylight

Over the next week, we will gain about 14 minutes more of daylight as the rate at which we gain daylight slowly goes down. This week it will be 5 minutes from 2 minutes and 19 seconds a day to 2 minutes and 14 seconds a day. Starting April 24th, sunset will be at 8 pm or later. August 22nd will then be the next time the sun sets before 8 pm. By April 25th, sunrise will be at 6:25 am and sunset will be at 8:01 pm. We will have 13 hours and 36 minutes of daylight by April 25th with 10 hours and 24 minutes of darkness.

ISS Viewing (Most Viewable)

The International Space Station will become viewable again April 22nd. Here are the best opportunities to view the International Space Station this week:

Date and TimeTime VisibleMaximum Height (Degrees above the horizon)Direction it AppearsDirection it Disappears
Thursday April 22nd, 5:55 am5 min19°above Sabove E
Sunday April 25th, 5:10 am5 min34°above Sabove ENE

Moon Phases & Next Full Moon:

Moon PhaseDate and Time
First Quarter MoonApril 20th, 2:58 am
Full MoonApril 26th, 11:31 pm
Third Quarter MoonMay 3rd, 3:50 pm
New MoonMay 11th, 2:59 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 supermoons in 2021. It is also referred to as the Sprouting Grass Moon, Egg Moon, or Fish Moon.

The next new moon will be a micro new moon. This means the moon will be the farthest away from Earth in the moon’s regular orbit.

Interesting Events:

On Tuesday April 20th, the waxing gibbous moon will move near another cluster of stars known as Messier 44 or Praesepe, and the Beehive in Cancer. This will happen in the southwestern sky after dusk. The moon will be several finger widths to the upper left of the star cluster. To better see the “bees”, use your binoculars and hide the moon just to the upper edge of them.

Overnight, the waxing gibbous moon will shine several finger widths to the upper left of these...
Overnight, the waxing gibbous moon will shine several finger widths to the upper left of these stars.(Stellarium)

On Thursday April 22nd, the annual Lyrids meteor shower will peak in the pre-dawn hours. The Lyrids can produce up to 18 meteors per hour at its peak with occasional fireballs. The most meteors will appear between midnight and dawn. The Lyrids meteor shower runs from April 16th to April 30th. You can see a reasonable number of meteors in the mornings before and after its peak night. The meteors will streak away near the bright star Vega in the eastern sky before dawn.

The Lyrids Meteor Shower will peak on April 22nd and can produce up to 18 meteors per hour at...
The Lyrids Meteor Shower will peak on April 22nd and can produce up to 18 meteors per hour at its peak.(Stellarium)

Also on Thursday April 22nd, the main belt asteroid known as Vesta will resume its eastern trajectory. Vesta will be located sitting less than a finger’s width below the star 51 Leonis. The waxing gibbous moon will pass less than a palm’s width below Vesta during the late evening.

The second most massive body in the asteroid belt Vesta will be near the moon on April 22nd
The second most massive body in the asteroid belt Vesta will be near the moon on April 22nd(Stellarium)

On Saturday April 24th, immediately after sunset or the evenings surrounding this date, look just above the west-northwestern horizon as Mercury will move past Venus. Mercury will be positioned a thumb’s width to the lower right of Venus. Make sure the sun has completely disappeared before viewing with binoculars.

Right after sunset, you will be able to see Mercury pass Venus in the west-northwestern horizon.
Right after sunset, you will be able to see Mercury pass Venus in the west-northwestern horizon.(Stellarium)

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