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What’s up in the sky?: Week of 04/26-05/02

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. 25, 2021 at 10:45 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 25, 2021 at 10:46 PM EDT
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(WHSV) - Can you believe it will be May next weekend? 2021 is moving by quickly. Let’s take a look at what’s up in the sky this week.

Adding Daylight

Over the next week, we will gain about 13 minutes more of daylight as the rate at which we gain daylight slowly goes down. This week it will by 7 minutes from 2 minutes and 13 seconds a day to 2 minutes and 6 seconds a day. By May 2nd, sunrise will be at 6:17 am and sunset will be at 8:08 pm. We will have 13 hours and 51 minutes of daylight by April 25th with 10 hours and 9 minutes of darkness.

ISS Viewing (Most Viewable)

Date and TimeTime VisibleMaximum Height (Degrees above the horizon)Direction it AppearsDirection it Disappears
Tuesday April 27th, 5:13 am5 min70°above WSWabove NE
Wednesday April 28th, 4:27 am3 min62°above ESEabove NE

Moon Phases & Next Full Moon:

Moon PhaseDate and Time
Full MoonApril 26th, 11:31 pm
Third Quarter MoonMay 3rd, 3:50 pm
New MoonMay 11th, 2:59 pm
First Quarter MoonMay 19th, 3:12 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. It will happen Monday, April 26th. The next full moon will then be May 26th and is known as the Flower Moon. This will be the third consecutive super moon of 2021, and the closest a full moon will be to Earth this year making it the biggest and brightest full moon of the year. It is known as the Flower Moon because of all the flowers blooming. There are several other names for May’s full moon. It can be referred to as the Budding Moon, the Leaf Budding Moon, Planting Moon, Egg Laying Moon, Frog Moon, or the Moon of the Shedding Ponies.

The Full Pink Supermoon will be the closest full moon to Earth in 2021. Peak illumination is at...
The Full Pink Supermoon will be the closest full moon to Earth in 2021. Peak illumination is at 11:31 pm on Monday April 26th.(Stellarium)

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.

Other Interesting Events:

Also on Monday April 26th in the evening hours before peak illumination of the full moon, Mars will pass Messier 35, the Shoe-Buckle Cluster, in Gemini. This will happen in the western sky. They will appear together at low magnification in the eyepiece of a backyard telescope.

On Friday April 30th, what is known as the Three Leaps of the Gazelle will occur. Spaced along a line spanning nearly 30 degrees in the sky, three pairs of medium-bright stars will resemble a gazelle’s tracks, or the toes of a bear. In each pairing, the stars are separated by about a thumb’s width. The most westerly stars, Al Kaprah and Talitha are found by extending a line drawn diagonally through the Big Dipper’s bowl from Megrez to Merak. The central pair, Tania Borealis and Australis sit midway between the bright star Dubhe and Algenubi in Leo. The most easterly duo, Alula Borealis and Australis are close to a line extended south from Dubhe through Merak. The word Alula arises from Arabic for “first leap”, while Tania means “second”, and Talitha means “three”.

The three sets of stars circled are supposed to resemble a gazelle's tracks or perhaps the toes...
The three sets of stars circled are supposed to resemble a gazelle's tracks or perhaps the toes of a bear.(Stellarium)

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