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    Articles > April 2015
 
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PLANISPHERES

All sky watchers need a planisphere to quickly show the location of stars and constellations for any date and time. Note: Planispheres are designed for specific latitudes so be sure to select one for your latitude.


The Night Sky Planisphere

A very popular 8-inch diameter, two-sided planisphere (plastic) designed to depict the night sky with less distortion than regular planispheres. Available for several latitudes, and in a smaller 5-inch edition.
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Night Sky Editions
Latitude 20° to 30° North
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Latitude 50° to 60° North
Southern Hemisphere
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Guide to the Stars

(5th Edition, Jan. 2013)
A very large 16-inch diameter information-rich planisphere (plastic) for use anywhere between latitude 30° & 60° North. Also available in a Southern Hemisphere edition.
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  Sky Calendar -- April 2015
1 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 13h UT (distance 406,012 km; angular size 29.4').
4 Total Eclipse of the Moon begins at 11:54 UT and ends at 12:06 UT (only 12 minutes). Mid-eclipse at 12:00 UT. Partial phases begin at 10:15 UT and end at 13:45 UT. The Moon will appear red-orange in color during totality (the color of EarthÕs sunsets). Visible from North America, the Pacific Ocean, Australia, New Zealand and most of Asia.
Eclipses of 2015 (NASA)
Total Lunar Eclipse of 2015 April 4 (PDF) (NASA)
4 Full Moon at 12:06 UT.
5 Moon near Spica (midnight sky) at 5h UT.
8 Moon near Saturn (morning sky) at 13h UT. Mag. +0.3.
8 Moon near Antares (morning sky) at 23h UT.
10 Mercury at superior conjunction with the Sun at 4h UT. The elusive planet passes into the evening sky.
11 Venus 2.6° SSE of the Pleiades (39° from Sun, evening sky) at 22h UT. Mag. -4.1.
12 Last Quarter Moon at 3:44 UT.
17 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 4h UT (361,023 km; angular size 33.1').
18 New Moon at 18:57 UT. Start of lunation 1142.
Lunation Number (Wikipedia)
20 Venus 7.4°N of Aldebaran (40° from Sun, evening sky) at 0h UT. Mags. -4.1 and +0.9.
20 Moon near the Pleiades (evening sky) at 23h UT.
21 Moon near Aldebaran (evening sky) at 17h UT. Occultation visible from north central Asia.
Occultation of Aldebaran (IOTA)
21 Moon near Venus (evening sky) at 19h UT. Mag. -4.1.
23 Lyrid meteor shower peaks at 0h UT ± 4 hours. Active April 16-25. Radiant is between Hercules and Lyra. Expect 10 to 20 bright, fast meteors per hour at its peak. Moon will set late evening making for ideal viewing conditions.
Observing the Lyrids (Gary Kronk)
Meteor Shower Calendar 2015 (PDF) (IMO)
25 First Quarter Moon at 23:55 UT.
26 Moon near Beehive Cluster (evening sky) at 5h UT.
26 Moon near Jupiter (evening sky) at 16h UT. Mag. -2.1.
28 Moon near Regulus (evening sky) at 2h UT.
29 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 4h UT (distance 405,083 km; angular size 29.5').
All times Universal Time (UT). USA Eastern Standard Time = UT - 5 hours.

Clear skies till next month!

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