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In the Sky This Month

The constellation Taurus is especially prominent this month thanks to the Moon and the planet Mars. The bull is dropping toward the western horizon at nightfall, and soon will disappear from view. But orange Mars passes by its shoulder, the Pleiades star cluster, early in the month, and the crescent Moon passes between Mars and the bull’s orange eye, the star Aldebaran, a few days later.

April 17: Coma Galaxy Cluster

The golden tresses of Queen Berenice adorn the sky on spring evenings — a spray of stars visible through binoculars high in the east at nightfall. If you look deep into the constellation, you will see thousands of galaxies that form the Coma Cluster.

April 18: Moon and Spica

Spica stands to the right or lower right of the Moon at nightfall. It consists of two big, heavy stars. One is more than 10 times as massive as the Sun, while the other is about seven times the Sun’s mass.

April 19: Full Moon

The Moon is full today. It stands opposite the Sun in our sky, so sunlight illuminates the entire lunar disk. The full Moon of April is known as the Grass Moon, Egg Moon, or Pink Moon.

April 20: Lyrid Meteors

The Lyrid meteor shower is building up this weekend. It should hit its peak in the wee hours of Monday or Tuesday. Unfortunately, though, the gibbous Moon will get in the way. Its glare will overpower all but the brightest meteors.

April 21: Moon and Antares

Antares, the leading light of Scorpius, will perch close below the Moon at first light tomorrow. The brilliant planet Jupiter will stand well to their left.

April 22: Moon and Jupiter

Look for the planet Jupiter quite close to the Moon late tonight. Jupiter will rise just below the Moon, after midnight. It looks like a brilliant star. They will be even closer at first light.

April 23: Moon and Planets

The giants of the solar system will flank the gibbous Moon at dawn tomorrow. Jupiter, the king of the planets, will stand to the right of the Moon, with fainter Saturn the same distance to the left of the Moon.

Current moon phase

New MoonNew Apr. 5, 3:50 am

First QuarterFirst Apr. 12, 2:06 pm

Full MoonFull Apr. 19, 6:12 am

Last quarterLast Apr. 26, 5:18 pm

Times are U.S. Central Time.

Perigee Apr. 16

Apogee Apr. 28

The full Moon of April is known as the Egg Moon or Grass Moon.