Lyrids Meteor Shower peaks this week up in the sky
(WHSV) - The Lyrids Meteor Shower peaks and the Moon goes dancing with some planets this week up in the sky!
THE MOON MEETS MERCURY
After sunset Friday evening, the very slim and young Moon will get close to Mercury in the west-northwestern sky. Mercury will be a fist’s width to the lower right of the Moon. You’ll likely need binoculars or a telescope to view Mercury. If you do use binoculars, you should be able to see the two together in the same field of view. There will be a limited time to view the duo, Mercury sets just after 9 pm. Venus will also be in view way to the upper left of the duo.
THE MOON POSES WITH VENUS AND THE PLEIADES
After sunset Saturday evening in the west-northwestern sky, the Moon will be located between Venus and the beautiful Pleiades Star Cluster which should create a great photo opportunity. You’ll have until around 10 pm to view all three before they start setting. If only the weather wasn’t to lead to viewing problems. Viewing Saturday night is unlikely because we have another cold front on the way. Not only are we expecting clouds but also rain.
LYRIDS METEOR SHOWER PEAKS
On Saturday night, the Lyrids meteor shower will peak in intensity. At around 9 pm, the meteor shower will reach its peak. Typically you could view this meteor shower from dark until early Sunday morning but, we have another cold front on the way. Not only are we expecting clouds but also rain.
This meteor shower typically doesn’t produce many meteors, maybe a few each hour but it can be worth a look at times. If you were going to try to watch it, Friday night might be the best option. It will at least be warm and right now looks fairly clear into Friday night. The good news is that moonlight will not be a factor in viewing this, so the sky will be nice and dark. In order to best see this meteor shower, view them at a location not close to city light or any light pollution.
MOON SPENDS ANOTHER NIGHT WITH VENUS
On Sunday evening after sunset, the Moon will pose with Venus yet again in the west-northwestern sky. The Moon at that point will be a palm’s width above the bright planet. You’ll want to catch the two before they set at around 11:30 pm. Clouds may be a factor with viewing.
This week, we will gain another 17 minutes of daylight. By April 24th, we will have 13 hours and 33 minutes of daylight and 10 hours and 27 minutes of nighttime. Sunrises will move from 6:37 am to 6:27 am while sunsets will move from 7:53 pm to 8:00 pm. Monday April 24th will be the first time the Sun sets at 8 pm or later since August 21st, 2022!
Daily Sunrise/Sunset Times this week:
|Apr 17||6:37 am||7:53 pm||13 hrs, 16 mins|
|Apr 18||6:35 am||7:54 pm||13 hrs, 19 mins|
|Apr 19||6:34 am||7:55 pm||13 hrs, 21 mins|
|Apr 20||6:32 am||7:56 pm||13 hrs, 24 mins|
|Apr 21||6:31 am||7:57 pm||13 hrs, 26 min|
|Apr 22||6:30 am||7:58 pm||13 hrs, 28 mins|
|Apr 23||6:28 am||7:59 pm||13 hrs, 31 mins|
ISS VIEWING (MOST VIEWABLE)
|Fri Apr 21, 5:31 am||5 min||21°||10° above S||10° above E|
|Sun Apr 23, 5:31 am||6 min||67°||18° above SW||10° above NE|
NEXT MOON PHASES
|Moon Phases||Date and Time|
|New Moon||April 20th, 12:12 am|
|First Quarter Moon||April 27th, 5:19 pm|
|Full Moon||May 5th, 1:34 pm|
|Third Quarter Moon||May 12th, 10:28 am|
CURRENT PLANET VIEWING OPPORTUNITIES
Venus: In the western sky at sunset, sets by 11:30 pm in the northwest
Mars: In the southwestern sky at sunset, sets in the northwest just before 2 am
Jupiter: Essentially not visible, rises with the Sun, sets just before sunset
Saturn: Not in the sky at sunset, limited viewing, rises in the sky before 4:30 am in the eastern sky
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