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In the Sky This Month

The constellations of spring begin to dominate the evening sky this month. Leo, the celestial lion, stands in good view at nightfall and leaps high across the south later on. Virgo follows the lion across the sky, with their brightest stars, Regulus and Spica, respectively, separated by more than 50 degrees — more than five times the width of your fist held at arm’s length.

April 25: Corvus

Corvus, the crow, is low in the southeast at nightfall and arcs across the southern sky during the night. Corvus’s brightest stars form a small but distinct box. In mythology, the crow was a servant of the god Apollo.

April 26: Corona Borealis

Look well up in the east as darkness falls for yellow-orange Arcturus, the brightest star in the evening sky at this time of year. Well to its lower left is Corona Borealis, the northern crown, a semicircle of stars that opens to the upper left.

April 27: Moon and Spica

Two big stars with different futures stand below the Moon at nightfall. Their light blurs together into one point: Spica, the brightest star of Virgo. One of the stars will explode as a supernova, while the other faces a fate similar to the Sun’s.

April 28: Venus and Aldebaran

Two bright lights are passing close to each other in the western evening sky. The brighter light is Venus, the brilliant “evening star.” The other one, to the left or upper left of Venus tonight, is Aldebaran, the eye of Taurus, the bull.

April 29: Moon and Jupiter

The mighty planet Jupiter looks like a brilliant star. And tonight, it has a close companion: the full Moon. Jupiter is to the lower left of the Moon at nightfall, and follows the Moon across the sky later on.

April 30: Good Night, Orion

Orion, one of the most beautiful constellations, is putting in its final evening appearance of the season over the next few nights. It soon will disappear in the Sun’s glare. The next time we see it, it will be in the morning sky shortly before sunrise.

May 1: May Day

In Britain, today is known as May Day. In ancient times, it marked the beginning of summer, not the middle of spring. It is one of the year’s four cross-quarter days, which come roughly half way between a solstice and an equinox.

Current moon phase

Last quarterLast Apr. 8, 2:18 am

New MoonNew Apr. 15, 8:57 pm

First QuarterFirst Apr. 22, 4:46 pm

Full MoonFull Apr. 29, 7:58 pm

Times are U.S. Central Time.

Apogee April 8

Perigee April 20

The full Moon of April is known as the Egg Moon or Grass Moon.