Astro Bob's Backyard Astronomy: Hoping for a break in the clouds
If the clouds should part long enough for us to have a clear view, Bob King lets us know about several interesting events coming up in the night sky:
- Venus, Mars, and Saturn, visible in the sky before sunrise in recent weeks, are now being joined by Jupiter. The Earth is moving around the Sun now to the point that Jupiter appears to be moving away from the Sun.
- On the morning of April 27th (next Wednesday), the waning crescent Moon will join in a small cluster with Venus and Jupiter.
- By the morning of Saturday, April 30th, Venus and Jupiter will appear very close together in the pre-dawn sky, about "one moon" width apart.
- Mercury will return to the evening sky later this week, on the northwestern horizon about 45 to 60 minutes after sunrise (about 8:45 p.m.)
- Some big sunspots on the sun have been very active recently. If they persist, we may be able to see some northern lights later this week and early next week. They would become more visible a brighten after 10:30 p.m. and they can sometimes last all night long. But the best time to see them is typically between midnight at 2 a.m.
- Finally, a meteor shower known as the Lyrids appear every April in the eastern morning sky and will be peaking April 22nd.
We need the rain here in the Northland, but we can also hope for clear skies here and there so we can see some of these events as they occur.