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 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.

April 24: Moon and Saturn

Saturn is in great view late tonight. The solar system’s second-largest planet looks like a fairly bright star close to the Moon as they climb into sight in the wee hours of the morning, and even closer to the Moon at first light.

April 25: Hydra

Hydra, the water snake, is the largest of all the 88 constellations. It winds about a quarter of the way around the entire sky. And right now, the whole thing is in view after about 11 p.m., when its tail snakes into view in the southeast.

April 26: Crow and Cup

Corvus and Crater roll across the southern evening sky at this time of year. Corvus, the crow, resembles the sail of a boat, while fainter Crater, the cup, looks like a faint goblet. Both constellations sit on the back of Hydra, the water snake.

April 27: Alphard

Alphard is the brightest star of Hydra, the water snake, which wriggles most of the way across the southern sky as darkness falls. There are no other bright stars close to it. In fact, the name Alphard means “the Solitary One.

April 28: Hercules

Hercules climbs into good view in the east and northeast a couple of hours after sunset. His torso is outlined by a lopsided square of stars known as the Keystone.