Weekly Stargazing Tips

Provided by StarDate.org. Unless otherwise specified, viewing times are local time regardless of time zone, and are good for the entire Lower 48 states (and, generally, for Alaska and Hawaii).

April 21: Looking Up

Several bright stars and star patterns stand high in the sky this evening. Regulus, the brightest star of Leo, is in the south. Pollux and Castor, the twins of Gemini, are about the same height in the west. And the Big Dipper hangs upside-down in the northeast.

April 22: Moon and Spica

Spica, the brightest star of Virgo, stands just a whisker away from the full Moon tonight. They are low in the southeast as twilight fades, separated by about half a degree, which is less than the width of a pencil held at arm’s length.

April 23: Full Moon

The Moon is full at 6:49 p.m. CDT as it lines up opposite the Sun in our sky. Among other names, the full Moon of April is known as the Egg Moon, Grass Moon, or Pink Moon

April 24: Zosma

The fourth-brightest star of Leo represents the lion’s hip. It’s named Delta Leonis as an indication of its ranking within the constellation. But it also has some older names, including Zosma, from an ancient Greek word that means “the girdle.”

April 25: Moon and Antares

Antares, the star that marks the bright orange heart of Scorpius, stands to the lower left of the Moon as they climb into good view tonight, after midnight. Antares will appear about the same distance to the upper right of the Moon tomorrow night.

April 26: Sirius Disappears

The brightest star in the night sky is getting ready to leave it for a while. Sirius, the Dog Star, is low in the southwest as night falls. Over the next few weeks it will sink deeper into the twilight then disappear from view.

April 27: Izar

Boötes is in the east as night falls. Look for its brightest star, yellow-orange Arcturus. The first noticeable star to the left of Arcturus is Izar. To the eye alone, it looks like a single point of light. A telescope reveals two stars; one is orange, the other blue.