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Daily Lunar Phases This Month

Daily lunar phases for the month
Diagram created with LunarPhase Pro

Times For Emerging Crescent Moons
Below are times for viewing Crescent Moons in UT for Dublin, Ireland. Crescent data is specific for your location but adding your timezone offset from GMT to the Sunset and Moonset times will give you an idea of when the Moon is visible locally. The amount of time you have to see a crescent and what percentage of the Moon is illuminated will be somewhat different for where you live. LunarPhase Pro will calculate all this information specifically for your location. The data in the screenshot below was generated by the software.

Events for April 2018

In case you're not aware, Jack Horkheimer, who used to produce these Star Gazer videos, died on August 20, 2010 and staff at the Miami Planetarium have been producing them in his place since then.

NASA What's Up In April 2018

HubbleSite - Tonight's Sky For April 2018

April Podcasts:

The Jodcast - from Jodrell Bank in the UK (right-click and select "Save As" to download the podcast for your mobile device). For more information about what's happening this month, visit the Jodcast April page.

What Messier Objects Are Visible Tonight (April):

A list of messier objects visible this month. All are possible with binoculars, most are easy even with small binoculars.

Spring time is galaxy time. As the winter milky way sets into the west
we begin to get overhead, clear views outside of our own galaxy. During
April we will begin in earnest our search for elusive galaxies. We will
be searching for very distant objects, thus in general they will be small
and faint.

There are several things to keep in mind to be successful at hunting
distant galaxies. The darker the sky the better. Search out dark sky
sites, or wait until the desired target is at maximum altitude or passes
through relatively darker portions of moderately light polluted skies.
Search with low power, once a possible fuzzy is found switch to higher
powers for confirmation and to look for more detail.

Nearly all of the objects this month are possible in binoculars, though
most need dark skies, averted vision, and a trained eye to see. We will
be hunting eight galaxies and two objects from our galaxy, a double star
and a planetary nebula.

M40

This is a pair of faint stars located in Ursa Major. They are a
tough find in binoculars, and you will be challenged to split them
with binoculars. In telescopes, they appear to be an identical pair of
stars and easy to split even at low power.

M108

This galaxy will appear as a thin streak of light in telescopes,
there is a definate brightening towards the middle. M108 is a very
tough object for the largest binoculars.

M97

This planetary nebula in Ursa Major, also called the Owl nebula,
appears as a fairly large, round, hazy patch of light in a telescope.
It is in the same field of view as M108 at low to medium powers. Use
averted vision to see the faint glow of the Owl nebula through binoculars.

M109

This spiral galaxy in Ursa major appears as a small, oval patch
of light. It can be found in the same field of view as Gamma UMa at
low to medium power in a telescope. Use large binoculars under good
conditions for a chance of seeing this one.

M106

This galaxy in Canes Venatici appears as an oval patch of light,
larger than M109, with a fairly bright core. A tough, but possible
binocular target.

M95

This galaxy in Leo appears as a faint round patch of light with
a bright nucleus. Large binoculars and good conditions a must.

M96

Look for M96 in the same low power telescope field as M95.
Another round patch of light, slightly larger and brighter than M95,
it too has a stellar core. Binocular advice for M96 is the same as M95.

M105

This is a small elliptical galaxy in Leo, and can be found in the
same low power field as M96. It look like a small fuzzy star. M105 has
a close companion galaxy, NGC 3384, which is only slightly smaller and
fainter than M105. To prevent consion, M105 is the closer of the pair to
M96. Not possible in binoculars, except maybe with averted "imagination".

M65

A small, but relatively bright galaxy in Leo. It is an elongated
oval patch of light with a bright stellar core. A tough, but possible
binocular target.

M66

A close companion galaxy to M65, it can be seen in the same low
to medium power field as M65. M66 is another oval patch of light,
brighter and slightly wider than M65. Another possible binocular target.
While you are here be sure to look for the a thin streak of light
which is the galaxy NGC 3628. It can be found north of M66 in the same
low power telescope field as both M65 and M66.

Last Month
- M41, M44, M46, M47, M48, M50, M67, M81, M82, M93
Next Month
- M49, M51, M61, M63, M64, M85, M94, M101, M102, M104

Via The Messier Catalog
 

Other Events To Watch Out For This Month

Jupiter in April 2018


To the right are the satellite tracks for Jupiter's four main satellites for this month.

Legend::
Io: White
Europa: Yellow
Ganymede: Orange
Callisto: Light Blue

Diagram created by Jupsat Pro

Daily / Weekly Notes

Today's Sky Event from Earth& Sky
A different astronomical event is described each day

This Week's "Sky at a Glance"
From Sky & Telescope

AMS Meteor Activity Outlook
A weekly preview of meteor activity

Lets Talk Stars
Weekly radio program hosted by David Levy

Jack Horkheimer : Star Gazer
Listing of current and past shows.

Monthly Notes

Sky at Night
Catch up on the latest edition of the BBC Programme

Stardate Daily Programme Calendar
Monthly listing of aired programs from StarDate

The Night Sky
Monthly observing notes from Jodrell Bank

Satellite Predictions and Visibility

NASA Skywatch
NASA SkyWatch is a web-based Java application that provides sky watchers worldwide with a picture of when and where the International Space Station, the space shuttle and other spacecraft can be seen with the unaided eye as they pass overhead.

Heavens Above
Provides all the information you need to observe satellites such as the International Space Station and the Space Shuttle, spectacular events such as the dazzlingly bright flares from Iridium satellites as well as a wealth of other spaceflight and astronomical information.

Online Skymaps and Charts

Your Sky
An interactive planetarium run by Fourmilab. You can produce maps for any time and date, viewpoint, and observing location. If you enter the orbital elements of an asteroid or comet, Your Sky will compute its current position and plot it on the map. Each map is accompanied by an ephemeris for the Sun, Moon, planets, and any tracked asteroid or comet. A control panel permits customization of which objects are plotted, limiting magnitudes, colour scheme, image size, and other parameters.

Heavens Above
Provides a range of charts and information, including sky charts for your location (which you'll have to specify).

Observing Resources

Meteor Showers (International Meteor Organization)
A listing of meteor showers that occur throughout the year.

Recent International Astronomical Union Circulars
This page lists the dates of issue and the titles of the items on the twenty most-recent IAUCs. Individual items can be displayed by selecting the relevant title.

International Astronomical Union: Astronomy Headlines
This page contains brief information on recent astronomical discoveries as reported in the International Astronomical Union Circulars (IAUCs) and the Minor Planet Electronic Circulars (MPECs), as well as links to ephemerides and orbital elements for comets and minor planets.

Observable Comets
Lists links to orbital elements and ephemerides of (potentially) observable comets

Approaching Comets
This website is devoted to monitoring all newly detected unknown objects and identified comets which have the potential for becoming significant events in the near future. It is kept updated very frequently, as new information and/or observations come in.

BAA Comet Section
lists links to news, current magnitudes and ephemerides of currently observable comets.

Major News About Minor Objects
The Asteroid/Comet Connection's daily news journal about asteroids, comets, and meteors.

American Association of Variable Star Observers
The AAVSO is the largest organization of variable star observers worldwide. You can get daily updates and find out more about them, the projects they sponsor and the data they make available to astronomers around the world.

The Minima of Algol
The star Algol (Beta Persei) was the first eclipsing variable star ever discovered, and it's still the most famous one. You can check on it whenever you step outdoors on nights when Perseus is in view.

International Occultation and Timing Association
This page gives information on the circumstances of lunar and other types of occultation for various locations around the world.

Solar Observing
The Sun is a fascinating astronomical object to observe. Extreme care is required if you wish to observe the Sun safely. Never look directly at the Sun with the naked eye or with any optical instrument. You must be familiar with the safe observing methods before attempting to observe the Sun.

The Messier Catalog
A listing of images and information on the Messier objects with links to other deep sky catalogues (NGC objects, etc.)

The Interactive NGC Catalog Online
An interactive NGC (IC, and Messier) catalog at SEDS, based on the famous NGC 2000.0 by R.W. Sinnott of Sky Publishing Corp.

The Night Sky Live
The night sky above some of the world's premier observatories. Click on a star to go to live pictures taken by the fisheye CONtinuous CAMeras (CONCAMs) in operation there. Major sponsors of the CONCAM project include the National Science Foundation and the Dept. of Physics at Michigan Technological University.

The Sky at Night
The BBC's dedicated Sky at Night website. Contains realvideo edition of last programme and links to the newsletter and other items.

BBC Space Site
The BBC's dedicated Space website. Contains links to various observing resources.