What's in the Sky Tonight?

APRIL 2018

Video Tours of the Night Sky

April 2018
March 2018

Astronomy binoculars for under $75

Monday, April 2
In the southern sky between 3:30 a.m. and dawn on the morning of Monday, April 2, Mars will appear close to Saturn. The two planets will appear equal in brightness. You can tell the difference between stars and planets in that planets do not twinkle. The teapot-shape constellation of Sagittarius will sit directly below Mars and Saturn.

Saturday, April 7
In this morning's pre-dawn sky, the last quarter moon will appear near Mars and Saturn, low over the horizon after 3 a.m. local time. By dawn, they will be higher, and the moon will have shifted closer to Saturn.

Saturday, April 14
New moon, which inagurates about 10 days of dark skies for excellent night-time observing.

Tuesday, April 17
For about 90 minutes after sunset, the crescent moon will be close to Venus low in the western sky.

Saturday, April 21
The Lyrids meteor shower will peak tonight. These meteors are formed from particles dropped by comet C/1861 G1 and lasts from April 16 to 25. This shower can produce up to 18 meteors per hour, with occasional fireballs. The first quarter moon sets shortly after midnight and therefore should not spoil the show too much.

Sunday, April 29
The April full moon—also known as the Pink Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon, Egg Moon, or Fish Moon—always shines in or near the stars of Virgo. Full moons always rise in the east as the sun sets, and set in the west at sunrise. A pair of binoculars will offer a stunning view of the moon's features.

A mini telescope you can take anywhere

Our Favorite Astronomical Binoculars

Celestron SkyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars with Tripod Adapter

$60 range

If you love sky gazing, you have to have a pair of astronomy binoculars! Binoculars are a fantastic alternative to telescopes—inexpensive, lightweight, and portable. For city dwellers where there is a lot of light pollution, binoculars are essential if you want to see much of anything.

Binoculars enlarge and brighten the beauty and immensity of the night sky. You can see the detail of the moon's craters, the phases of Venus, the moons and stripes of Jupiter, the awesome jewels that dot the Milky Way, nebulae, star clusters, and comets when they're passing near.

Our favorite astonomy binoculars is the Celestron SkGiyMaster Giant 15x70 Binoculars. These are excellent as well:


A year-round, real-time sky map

planisphere star locator mapA planisphere is a rotating star chart that allows you to dial in the entire visible sky for any day and time of the year and with great precision. It has been called an analog star computer and was considered magical in ancient times.

Planispheres show the brightest stars, constellations, notable galaxies and nebulae, as well as the path of the Milky Way. The plane of the ecliptic is also shown, which reveals the pathway of the planets as they appear to move across the night sky.


Orion 04110 Star Target Planisphere
Designed for use within 30 degrees North and 50 degrees North latitudes regardless of calendar year - shows locations of 100 star clusters, nebulas and galaxies.
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Night Sky® Star Wheel
Cardboard star wheel chart with moveable dial displays the positions of the stars at any time of the day and on any day of the year; shows only the brightest stars, anywhere between north latitudes 30 and 50.
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Guide to the Stars Map
This 16-inch diameter plastic Guide to the Stars chart can be used anywhere in the world between latitudes 30 and 60 degrees North.
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Star and Planet Locator Map
A roadmap of the night sky and accompanying booklet shows the location of stars, planets and constellations in your night sky when you dial in the exact hour and date.
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Firefly Planisphere: Latitude 42 Degrees North
Sturdy construction, smooth wheel rotation, easy-to-read booklet and protective pocket
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