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Sky Highlights and NEKAAL Events for APRIL 2016

  • April 7 – New Moon
  • April 9 – Open House at Farpoint Observatory, 8 pm-? Join us!
  • April 13 – First Quarter
  • April 22 – Full Moon
  • April 28 – General Meeting, Topeka Library, 7 pm. Join us!
  • April 29 – Last Quarter

PLANETS in April 2016

Evening Sky:

  • Mercury – in west
  • Jupiter – in southeast


  • Mars – in southeast
  • Jupiter – in southwest
  • Saturn – in southeast

Morning Sky:

  • Neptune – in east
  • Venus – in east
  • Mars – in southwest
  • Saturn – in south

CONSTELLATIONS well placed in evening during April 2016

North to South, at 9-10 pm:

  • Ursa Minor, the Little Bear, also the Little Dipper
  • Camelopardalis, the Giraffe
  • Ursa Major, the Big Bear, also the Big Dipper
  • Lynx, not a Lynx–so named 1687 because one needs Lynx eyes to see it (true story).
  • Gemini, the Twins
  • Leo, the Lion
  • Canis Major, the bigger dog
  • Hydra, the Water Monster

SKY EXTRAS in April 2016

  • Mercury has its best appearance of the year, in the WSW dusk twilight, best around April 18.
  • Conjunction of the month: April 25, around 3 am, The moon, Saturn, Mars, and bright red-orange star Antares all gather in the south sky. Honorable mention: Jupiter and Moon are very close all night April 18-19.
  • Challenge object of the month: Omega Centauri is theoretically visible from Kansas. It's the Milky Way's largest globular cluster, falling right below bright star Spica and conspicuous constellation Corvus. Big as it is, Omega Centauri never gets more than 3.5 degrees above Topeka's south horizon. Best bet: Find it in binoculars right when it's due south, and then try for it naked-eye.
  • Best comet: in binoculars, 252P/Linear, in Serpens Cauda moving into Ophiuchus, at magnitude 5.0. Look high in the morning twilight.
  • No great meteor showers this month. (Lyrids are washed out in the Full Moon.)