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Last Week's Stargazing Tips

April 26: Vanishing Dog

Sirius, the Dog Star, is dropping from the evening sky. It is low in the southwest at sunset and sets by around 11 p.m. Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky. It looks like a brilliant white gem, which twinkles fiercely.

April 25: New Moon

The Moon is “new” early tomorrow, as it crosses the imaginary line between Earth and Sun. We can’t see the new Moon because it appears too close to the Sun, and because its sunlit side is facing away from Earth.

April 24: Hunting Dogs

The constellation Canes Venatici, the hunting dogs, is high in the east this evening. To find it, look for bright yellow-orange Arcturus well up in the east as darkness falls. Canes Venatici is to the upper left of Arcturus.

April 23: Last Glance

Orion, one of the most beautiful constellations, is about to disappear. There’s only about an hour of good viewing time now, between the end of twilight and the time Orion begins to set. In a couple of weeks it will be hard to see the hunter at all.

April 22: Moon and Venus

The two brightest objects in the night sky team up at dawn the next two days: the Moon and the planet Venus. Venus, the “morning star,” is close to the left or upper left of the Moon tomorrow, and to the upper right of the Moon on Thursday.

April 21: Hercules

The constellation Hercules rises in early evening and stands clear of the northeastern horizon a couple of hours after sunset. The constellation is defined by a lopsided square of stars known as the Keystone.

April 20: Lyrid Meteors

The Lyrid meteor shower is at its best the next couple of nights. The Moon doesn’t rise until a couple of hours before sunrise, leaving a few dark hours to watch the shower.