It's an eventful month up in space this April, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is sharing how to best witness the sights in the sky.
April will see notable movements in the skies, including the planet Mercury rising to its highest point of the year, the Moon meeting Mars, and the Lyrids meteor shower.On the night of April 11th, Mercury was at its most visible climax.
Mercury was special because it is only visible in the sky for a few weeks three or four times a year, and because it orbits so close to the Sun, it is often invisible due to its bright glow.Starting on April 15th and 16th, hours before sunrise, look low in the southeastern sky to see three bright planets in the sky next to the Moon.
On the 23rd lunar day, after sunset, a thin crescent hangs 5 degrees above the western planet Venus.Two days later, the sky darkens and Mars and the Moon approach high in the western sky as the Moon approaches Mars. NASA is proposing to release the binoculars on April 26-27, when the crescent moon is visible.
NASA says that if you look up, you'll see craters and mountains along the Terminator, the boundary between light and darkness. This spring shower, called the Lyrids, is of moderate intensity and can produce up to 20 meteors per hour at its peak on April 23rd.Meteor showers are visible to the naked eye, so you don't need binoculars or a telescope to see this natural wonder.
You also may see an occasional fireball during the shower. Lyrids tend to produce both fast-moving meteors and bright flashes, NASA says. Here's a schedule, for what to look for in the sky this month:
April 11 - Mercury was at its highest and most visible point in the evening sky.
April 11 - According to NASA, Venus sat near the Pleiades star cluster this evening in the west.
April 15-16 - A couple hours before sunrise on these days, the moon will be close to planet Saturn in the east.
April 23 - The crescent moon hangs just five degrees above Venus in the west after sunset, according to NASA.
April 25 - This time, the moon finds its way to planet Mars in the evening, high in the west.
April 6 - The sky will see a full moon.
April 20 - There will be a new moon.
April 23 - Marker of the peak of the Lyrids meteor shower in the morning. According to NASA, the best time to view is between midnight and dawn.
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