Starwalks: Spring Spectacular
The full moon of April 4 will rise close to the brilliant star Spica on the eastern horizon. Spica is the most prominent star in the constellation of the Virgin. On April 12, look to the west to see the brilliant planet Venus, now above Mars. This will appear beside the cluster of stars known as the Pleiades on the back of the constellation of the Bull. By the evening of April 18, Venus will conjoin the bright, red star Aldebaran, which is known as he ‘Eye of the Bull.’ Venus will not set until 11PM so there will be plenty of time after sunset to see these two together.
On April 19 on the western horizon after sunset, below Venus, a new crescent moon and Mars will be visible side by side above Mercury. Mer- cury will be the first to set at 8:30 PM, followed by Mars at 8:53 and the moon at 9 PM. Venus, still close to Aldebaran, will set at 11:02 PM, followed by Sirius at 11:15 PM to the southwest. On the eastern horizon, Saturn will be visible with the three stars that make up the forehead of the Scorpion, which is known as Antares or the ‘Heart of the Scorpion.’ Look for this to rise at 11:06 PM.
To the northeast, almost parallel to Saturn, the bright star that is known as Vega— which adorned the western sky just after sunset in January—will again be visible. Look for Vega to rise in the east at 9:45 PM. By 1 AM, the Tail of the Scorpion will rise with Altair, giving us a preview of summer skies to come.