April 2015 Night Sky: Lunar Eclipse
See what's up in the night sky for April 2015, including stargazing events and the moon's phases, in this Space.com gallery courtesy of Starry Night Software. FIRST: Saturday, April 4, 8:06 a.m. EDT. The Full Moon of April is known as the "Seed Moon," "Pink Moon," "Sprouting Grass Moon," "Egg Moon," or "Fish Moon." It rises around sunset and sets around sunrise; this is the only night in the month when the moon is in the sky all night long. The rest of the month, the moon spends at least some time in the daytime sky.
Last Quarter Moon, April 2015
Saturday, April 11, 11:44 p.m. EDT. The Last Quarter Moon rises around 2:30 a.m. and sets around 1 p.m. It is most easily seen just after sunrise in the southern sky.
New Moon, April 2015
Saturday, April 18, 2:57 p.m. EDT. The moon is not visible on the date of New Moon because it is too close to the sun, but can be seen low in the east as a narrow crescent a morning or two before, just before sunrise. It is visible low in the west an evening or two after New Moon.
First Quarter Moon, April 2015
Saturday, April 25, 7:55 p.m. EDT. The First Quarter Moon rises around noon and sets around 2:30 a.m. It dominates the evening sky.
Total Lunar Eclipse, April 2015
Saturday, April 4, 5:01 a.m.–10:59 a.m. EDT, 2:01 a.m.–7:59 a.m. PDT. The best locations for observing this eclipse will be islands in the Pacific Ocean and nearby mainlands. For observers in North America, this eclipse occurs near the western horizon around the time of moonset, just before the sun rises in the east. For observers in the east, the moon will set while partially eclipsed; observers in the west will see all of totality. A low western horizon is essential. Observers in Australia and eastern Asia will see the eclipse just after sunset and will need a low eastern horizon.
Saturn and the Moon, April 2015
Wednesday, April 8, dawn. The moon will pass just north of Saturn just before sunrise.
Venus and the Pleiades, April 2015
Saturday, April 11, dusk. Venus passes within 3 degrees of the Pleiades star cluster.
Venus, Aldebaran, and the Moon, April 2015
Tuesday, April 21, 1 hour after sunset. The moon will pass close to Venus and the bright red star Aldebaran.
Mercury and Mars, April 2015
Wednesday, April 22, 30 minutes after sunset. Keen-eyed observers may be able to spot Mercury and Mars just a degree apart low in the western sky. Binoculars will be helpful. Use Venus to help locate them.
Juno and the Moon, April 2015
Sunday, April 26, just before moonset. Just before moonset, look for 9th magnitude asteroid Juno just above the moon. This will be around 2 a.m. in eastern North America. The moon will occult Juno as seen from eastern Asia, Melanesia, and Polynesia.
Mercury, April 2015
Mercury is too close to the sun to observe most of the month.