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Celestial phenomena in the first half of April 2023

Celestial phenomena in the first half of April 2023

The full moon is on April 6th

The full moon sets early in the morning, when the sky is clear at sunset after sunrise, but the evening moonrise occurs in a darkened sky, more spectacularly, half an hour after sunset.

Full Moon and Spica

Source: Stellarium

The full moon will appear on the eastern horizon at 19:36 at our eastern border, at 19:48 in Budapest, and at 19:58 in the west. We usually notice the full moon in April with the earwigs’ song, but this year it’s probably too early for that, the night wanderers get home in mid-April, so we might hear their song later. Next to the full moon, to the right of it at a good 2 degrees, we can also see a star, the brightest constellation Virgo, Spica.

At the beginning of the month, we can see Mercury clearly

We’re looking for Mercury in the twilight sky!

Source: I sent it / Gábor Balázs

The innermost planet will be clearly visible in the twilight sky in the first half of April, and it will set an hour and a half after sunset, so we’ll have about half an hour to see it comfortably and easily. In a very clear sky, it can appear before, half an hour after sunset, it will still be 10 degrees above the western horizon. Until the middle of the month, it is worth taking the time to observe it.

Venus-Fairy conjunction on the 10th

The conjunction of Venus and Fiastyúk in 2012 above Veszprém Castle.

Source: Monica Landy Gebnar

The brightest planet and Fiasty Dancer side-by-side in the early evening sky in April, they can be seen at their closest on the 10th and 11th, by which time they will be separated by about 2 degrees, but it might be worth watching and, after the two objects have been so close for several days, pull away. At the beginning of sidereal darkness (this starts about 1 hour and 50 minutes after sunset) we can already see the stars of Fiastyús clearly, at which point they are unfortunately only 15-16 degrees above the horizon, which is not the most ideal for photographing, but if it is clear, It is worth a try. The bluish nebula surrounding the stars of Fiastyúk can be “conjured” if we take pictures with a sufficiently long shutter speed, and we can do this with the help of mechanics that follow the rotation of the Earth, or perhaps with the help of software that combines several pictures with a shorter shutter speed. Given the distance between the two objects, it’s worth photographing them with a medium telephoto lens.
If we want to take a group photo in a landscape, let’s wait a little longer in the evening until they’re closer to the horizon, around 10:30 p.m. They’re only about 5 degrees, so we can compose them well with landscape elements.

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In the middle of the month, we can look up to Saturn

The ringed planet was close to the Sun, so we couldn’t observe it for a long time, but it will slowly return to the morning sky. Around April 10 (and, of course, after) we can try to observe it, if the weather is clear, at about the end of astronomical twilight (1 hour and 10 minutes before sunrise). It is located two degrees above the southeastern horizon. His situation is far from ideal, really only for those who like challenges. In the bright sky quickly, even if you can find it, you won’t be able to see it for a long time, and it doesn’t hurt to go to the Dawn Planetarium with binoculars slung around your neck. His vision is improving very slowly, but in such periods when the planet is poor the observer can still be quite happy with it.

Mars is still clearly visible

The red planet can be found at the foot of the constellation Gemini in the evening hours, although it has faded a lot, its redness is still remarkable. Although he had been going to quite “quiet” places for a while now, his presence was still a reliable point of reference in the first half of the night.

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