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Best Night Sky Events of April 2016 (Stargazing Maps)

Venus, April 2016

Starry Night Software

Venus is moving behind the sun, and will be hard to spot before sunrise.

Mars, April 2016

Starry Night Software

Mars rises around midnight, moving from Scorpius to Ophiuchus on the 3rd. It reverses direction on the 16th and moves back into Scorpius on the 30th. Its disk grows from 12 to 16 arc seconds during the month, as it moves towards opposition on May 22. Observers with good telescopes should be able to see some of the dark markings on Mars' surface this month.

Jupiter, April 2016

Starry Night Software

Jupiter was at opposition on March 8, so is still visible most of the night, setting around 5 a.m.

Saturn, April 2016

Starry Night Software

Saturn is well placed in Ophiuchus, rising around midnight. Its rings are now spread widely, making it a beautiful sight in a small telescope.

Uranus, April 2016

Starry Night Software

Uranus is too close to the sun to be observed this month.

Neptune, April 2016

Starry Night Software

Neptune is also too close to the sun to be observed.

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Geoff Gaherty
Starry Night Sky Columnist

Geoff Gaherty was Space.com's Night Sky columnist and in partnership with Starry Night software and a dedicated amateur astronomer who sought to share the wonders of the night sky with the world. Based in Canada, Geoff studied mathematics and physics at McGill University and earned a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Toronto, all while pursuing a passion for the night sky and serving as an astronomy communicator. He credited a partial solar eclipse observed in 1946 (at age 5) and his 1957 sighting of the Comet Arend-Roland as a teenager for sparking his interest in amateur astronomy. In 2008, Geoff won the Chant Medal from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, an award given to a Canadian amateur astronomer in recognition of their lifetime achievements. Sadly, Geoff passed away July 7, 2016 due to complications from a kidney transplant, but his legacy continues at Starry Night.