Welcome to this issue of
Qué tal in the Current Skies

Here you will find useful observing information about the visible planets, our Moon and other moons, the Sun, as well as various 'things' celestial. Among these web pages you will find monthly star maps for either the northern or southern hemisphere that are suitable for printout. Animated images are utilized to illustrate celestial motions such as orbital motions of the planets, and other solar orbiting objects, or apparent and real motions along the ecliptic and the local horizon. Regular features include plotting the monthly positions of the visible planets using heliocentric coordinates; following moon phases; conjunctions; the sun's apparent motion and the Earth's real motion along the ecliptic.
Scroll down for more web site information, resources, and a link to the previous month issue.

Volume 24          Issue 4
April 2018
   Month at a Glance:
This month most of the planet viewing and their interactions with the Moon will be in the morning an hour or so before local time for sunrise. Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter are arranged across the sky above the eastern to southern horizon. In the evening the two inner planets make their reappearance after their respective time on the opposite side of the Sun at superior conjunction. Watch for these two to gradually move out eastward away from the setting Sun giving them more time above the western horiaon before each one sets.
Click here for the month at a glance calendar.

This graphic shows the pre-dawn skies of mid-month at around 5 am CDT. Three of the outer planets, Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter are easily seen spread out above the east to southern horizon.

Mercury reappears in the evening skies and joins Venus as both move eastward away from the setting Sun.
Venus also reappears in the evening skies and has several interesting conjunctions, two with Mercury, and one with Uranus.
Mars rises several hours before the Sun rises and is easily seen over the southeastern horizon at sunrise.
Dwarf Planet Ceres rises in mid-afternoon and is high above the southern horizon in the the area of Cancer the Crab. With an apparent magnitude between 6 and 7 Ceres is best viewd from time exposure pictures or wit a large telescope.
Jupiter rises several hours before the Sun rises and is easily seen over the southeastern horizon at sunrise. Jupiter begins its retrograde motion on the 9th amongst the stars of Libra the Scales.
Saturn rises a couple of hours before the Sun and is visible above the southeast horizon at sunrise within the stars of Sagittarius the Archer.

Star Maps and More
Visit bobs-spaces for regular updates on what is up.
Contact Me

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April Sky Calendar
01. Mercury at inferior conjunction
02. Mars near Saturn
03. Waning gibbous Moon near Jupiter
07. Waning gibbous Moon near Saturn and Mars
08. Last Quarter Moon
      Moon at Apogee 404,144 km
10. Moon at Descending Node
12. Yuri’s Night
16. New Moon
17. Saturn at aphelion
      Waxing crescent Moon near Venus
18. Uranus in solar conjunction
      Waxing crescent Moon near Aldebaran
      Saturn begins retrograde motion
19. Sun Does Enter the Astronomical Sign of Aries
20. Moon at Perigee - 368,714 km
      The Sun Does Not Enter the Astrological Sign of Taurus
22.First Quarter Moon
      Earth Day
      Lyrid Meteor Shower Peak: ZHR = 20
      Waxing gibbous Moon near Beehive Open Star Cluster
23. Moon at Ascending Node
24. Waxing gibbous Moon near Regulus
      Venus Near the Pleiades
29. Mercury at western elongation: 27°W
30. Full Moon
      Full Moon near Jupiter
Above the Solar System at 10 day Intervals

Heliocentric Coordinaes

Name April 06 April 16 April 26
Mercury 206o 43' 236o 56' 264o 35'
Venus 066o 57' 083o 04' 099o 14'
Earth 196o 08' 205o 57' 215o 43'
Mars 240o 01' 245o 16' 250o 36'
Ceres 146o 15' 148o 40' 151o 20'
Jupiter 225o 49' 226o 35' 227o 21'
Saturn 273o 22' 273o 40' 273o 58'
Plot planet positions using polar graph paper that you can download from this web site - or at that web site create your own.

Above the Terrestrial Planets at 10 day Intervals
Local Time CST (UT-6)

Spot the ISS

Some Astronomy Web Links

    Click here.