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Sky in April: Raging Mercury appears, Lyrids come

Sky in April: Raging Mercury appears, Lyrids come

sky in april
Frenzied Mercury appears, Lyrids come

The planet Mercury, which is closest to the Sun, can rarely be seen from Earth. But in April, the lucky ones can be lucky. In addition, the new month awaits the shooting star stream of the Lyrids – and with a partial solar eclipse. In order to see them, however, one would have to travel quite a bit.

Even the great astronomer Nicholas Copernicus was said to have lamented on his deathbed because he had never seen him before. The intelligent planet Mercury is visible only a few days a year, either at low dusk in the western sky or in the morning just before sunrise over the eastern horizon. In April, Mercury presents the best night vision of the year.

Especially on the 19th to 29th days, Mercury is relatively easy to spot if you have a clear view of the western horizon. About three-quarters of an hour after sunset, you can see the messenger of the gods, called the ancient Greeks Hermes, in the increasing darkness. It appears as a faint yellow light point low in the western sky. After about half an hour it disappears in the layers of fog near the horizon. To see Mercury, one must avoid glare from ground lights such as street lights and neon signs.

Mercury revolves around the sun once every 88 days. It rotates on its axis once every 59 days. It follows that the sun rises on Mercury every 176 days. On average, Mercury is located just 58 million kilometers from the Somme, which is less than 40 percent of the distance between the Sun and Earth. Mercury is a dead, no-atmospheric ball of rock with a diameter of only 4,878 km. There are countless craters and annular walls dotted on its surface. It is the smallest planet in our solar system.

On Mercury’s day, which lasts 88 Earth days, the surface temperature of the rocks rises to 430 degrees Celsius. The lead there would melt instantly like butter in the sun. The dark gray surface cools quickly after sunset. During Mercury’s 88-day night, the temperature drops to minus 180 degrees Celsius. Mercury is the planet with the greatest temperature difference between day and night. No moon shines on Mercury’s frigid night. Since March 2021, NASA’s “Messenger” probe has been orbiting the planet Mercury as an artificial satellite. The European space probe “Bepicolombo” is currently on its way to Mercury. You should reach it in early December 2025.

Venus rules the morning sky

Aside from Mercury, the evening sky remains devoid of bright planets. On the other hand, in the morning sky, there are bright wandering stars. The flower dominates the morning sky with its splendor. However, the visibility conditions for the morning star are deteriorating. Because the sun rises earlier and earlier, which shortens the time to see Venus. The morning star joins the morning display of planets along with Jupiter, Mars and Saturn low in the eastern sky. On the 27th day, Venus will pass just south of Neptune, the planet farthest from the sun. Neptune is almost obscured by Venus. Unfortunately, this narrow coverage can only be observed with very large telescopes.

Mars also appears in the morning sky. It is not as bright as Venus, but it is clearly recognizable by its reddish color. On the eleventh, Mars leaves Capricorn and enters Aquarius. The red planet joins the morning show of Jupiter – Venus – Mars – Saturn. The waning crescent moon will pass Saturn on the 24th and Mars on the 25th. Already on the fifth, Mars meets the ringed planet, as the reddish planet Saturn crosses half the latitude of the Moon to the south. Jupiter appears only in the morning sky towards the end of the month. After Venus, the giant planet is the brightest star. The bright white point of light cannot be overlooked.

Lyrid Meteor Shower becomes active

From April 16-25, the Lyrid meteor shower will become active. Shooting stars seem to emanate from the constellation Lyra. The best time to watch is after midnight. Expect 10 to 20 meteors per hour. It penetrates the Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of about 50 kilometers per second and burns. Lyrids are a product of the disintegration of Comet Thatcher.

The new moon phase actually occurs on April 1 at 8.24 am. On the fifth day, the moon blocks some of the Hades stars in Taurus. On the ninth day, the waxing crescent will pass south of the twin star Pollux. On Holy Saturday, the sixteenth of the month, the Easter full moon is reached at 8:55 p.m. It is in Virgo. The moon is far from Earth at a distance of 40,440 kilometers in the late evening of April 7. The moon will pass its closest orbital point on the 19th day in the afternoon, at a distance of 365,140 kilometers from us.

partial eclipse

On the 30th at 10:28 PM the moon comes to new moon position for the second time. But this time partially covering the sun, a partial solar eclipse occurs. However, it cannot be observed from the entire northern hemisphere of the Earth, only from the southern regions of South America, parts of Antarctica and the South Pacific. At the height of the eclipse, the dark new moon will cover 64 percent of the apparent diameter of the sun.

The Big Dipper stands high above our heads, almost at its height. If you extend the distance between the stars of the back box five times, you will find the North Star, which shows us the direction of north. High in the south one easily recognizes the image of a lion. It is the guiding star of the spring sky. The brightest star in Leo is called Regulus, the Little King. The King Star is located 77 light years from the hot and bluish sun.

To the west, the winter constellations cleared the field and settled. Deep in the southwest sky, Procyon in Little Dog reminds us of winter days gone by. Gemini can be seen above the west with its main stars Castor and Pollux. To the northwest, the light and yellowish a capella remains in the Fuhrmann. Capella means something like a little goat. Carter is considered the builder of the celestial chariot. Virgo with its main bluish star Spica appeared in the southeast. Spica means corn kernels, a symbol of fertility and is 270 light years away.

The Big Dipper’s index finger-like plume points to a bright reddish star far to the southeast. His name is Arktur, bear keeper. Take care of the big bear. Arcturus is the brightest star in the northern sky, along with Vega, which has just ascended in the northeast. However, Vega, which is as bright as Arcturus, radiates a bluish light. Arcturus is the main star of the Bootes, patron of cattle. The Romans once saw seven bulls studying in the seven stars of chariots. And that pushes the Bootes daily around the Pole Star like an esophagus. The three bright stars Regulus, Arcturus and Spica make up the so-called spring triangle, the axis of brightness in the evening spring sky.