Society News Headlines
- April 1st – Transit of Jupiter across the Sun. Begins 05:54BST.
- April 2nd – Zodiacal light observational period begins.
- April 4th – Planned launch of STS-110 Space Shuttle Atlantis on ISS assembly flight 8A.
- April 6th – Comet C/2002 B2 (Linear) at Perihelion (3.843AU).
- April 6th – Neptune is 4° North of Moon.
- April 7th – Mercury at Superior conjunction.
- April 8th – Uranus 4 ° North of Moon.
- April 10th – Comet C/2002 C2 (Linear) at Perihelion (3.254AU).
- April 14th – Venus 3° North of Moon.
- April 15th – Astronomy Week USA begins (ends April 21st).
- April 16th – 30th Anniversary (1972) of the Apollo 16 launch. 5th Manned lunar landing.
- April 16th – Lunar Occultation of Saturn begins 21:55 BST from Liverpool.
- April 16th – Wilbur Wright born to-day in 1867.
- April 17th – Vesta 0.7° South of Moon.
- April 18th – Jupiter 1.6° South of Moon.
- April 19th – LAS Monthly Meeting, 7pm Crypt Concert Room, RC Catherdral.
- April 20th – Astronomy Day USA.(See above)
- April 20th – Comet C/2002 B1 (Linear) at perihelion (2.271AU).
- April 20th – Comet C/2002 A3 (Linear) at perihelion (5.147AU).
- April 22nd – Lyrids meteor shower maximum.
- April 23rd – Comet C/Utsunomiya (2002 F1) at perihelion (0.459AU).
- April 27th – BAA Out of Town Meeting Cardiff University.
- April 27th – The SPA April MeetingCockburn Theatre, St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London.
- April 29th – Mars 6° North of Alderbaran.
- April 29th – Comet C/2002 C1 (Ikeya-Zhang) closest approach to Earth (0.405AU) Morning Sky.
- April 30th – Comet C/2002 SV74 (Linear) at perihelion (3.542AU).
THE NIGHT SKY DURING THE MONTH OF APRIL 2002
Will it be cloudy to-night?, ask the The U.K. Goverment Met Office Weather service.
The Night Sky as seen from Liverpool at any time, Click Here.
The Sun and Moon
All times are in BRITISH SUMMER TIME (BST). Times For Observer in Liverpool, Merseyside, England, U.K.
PLEASE NOTE CHANGE TO BST
Latitude 53 degs 24 mins North.
Longitude +3.0 degs West.
Apr 1st Apr 6th 11th 16th 21st 26th May 1st SUNRISE 06:47 06:35 06:23 06:11 06:00 05:48 05:49 SUNSET 19:47 19:56 20:05 20:14 20:23 20:32 20:41
|PHASES OF THE MOON DURING APRIL 2002|
THE PLANETS THIS MONTH.
Mercury starts off a very favourable evening apparition this month and it is worth making the effort to locate this swift-moving planet. From the 21st onwards look to the right of west about 10° above the horizon at the time of civil twilight, using THIS TABLE to help guide you. Evening apparitions always start off bright with the magnitude fading as the planet’s phase lessens. On April 16th Mercury is magnitude -1.4 but ny May 16th this has dropped to +2.7 with an almost full phase early on, shortening to 13% crescent phase at the end of the apparition. On April 29th/30th Mercury lies 1.5° south of the fine, wide open star cluster the Pleiades in Taurus.
Venus should by now be highly visible in the west, setting just on two hours after the Sun does. On the 14th the Moon passes 3.5° south of Venus at 19hr whilst on the 21st/22nd Venus passes 4° south of the Pleiades star cluster.
Mars is starting to fade but is still hanging on in the western sky, setting two hours after the Sun. Watch over April and May as Mars and Venus start to move closer to each other, leading up to a close encounter early next month. Travelling through Taurus Mars passes 3.5° south of the Pleiades on the 14th, 4.5° north of delta Tauri on the 23rd, 3.5° north of epsilon Tauri on the 25th and also on the 25th to close 10′ north of kappa Tauri. On the 16th Mars is 3° north of the Moon.
- 3 Juno is at solar conjunction on April 28th.
- 4 Vesta remains in Taurus during the Month.
For More information on Asteroids Click Here.
Jupiter is travelling through Gemini with the Moon lying in close attendance less than a degree south of the Moon on the 19th.
Launched in October 1989, the Galileo Jupiter Probe entered orbit around the great planet on December 7th 1995. The Project Galileo Homepage will give you up-to-date information and the very latest images returned.
Saturn, can be found in Taurus, a good way to the right of Jupiter. On the 24th a view through a pair of binoculars will show Saturn passing 2° north of the star cluster NGC1647 but the highlight of Saturn’s year is an occultation by the Moon at 21:55 on the 16th. Like Jupiter’s occultations earlier this year Saturn will spend several tens of seconds gradually disappearing behind the Moon’s dark limb. Saturn reappears from behind the Moon’s bright limb at 22:25. If the sky is dark enough use a telescope to search for Saturn’s large satellite Titan to the right of the planet as this will be occulted at 21:53 therefore giving a couple of minutes warning of the approaching lunar disk.
Saturn’s Lunar Occultation on April 16th
Moon is 15% illuminated.
- Titan Disappearance 21hr:53m:39sec BST
- Saturn Disappearance 21hr:55m:02sec BST
- Saturn Reappearance 22hr:25m:15sec BST (Bright Limb)
URANUS and NEPTUNE.
Uranus is slowly recovering from its February solar conjunction, and can be seen at Mag 5.9 in Aquarius.
Positions for the 1st April R.A. DEC TRANSIT TIME MAG 21h:59m:02s -13°:04':11" 09h:33m 5.9
Like Uranus, Neptune is recovering from its solar conjunction in January and at mag 7.9 in Capricornus the approaching twilight will hinder chances of locating this outer planets.
Positions for the 1st April R.A. DEC TRANSIT TIME MAG 20h:51m:44s -17°:31'02" 08h:25m 7.9
Pluto can be found on the border of Ophiuchus at mag 13, below and to right of the 4th magnitude stars eta Ophiuchi, and below and to the left of zeta Ophiuchi.The best time to look for the planet is around New Moon. The dates below will be a guide for planning observations.
Positions for April are when pluto's elongation angle is greater than 90°. DATE R.A. DEC TRANSIT TIME April 1st 17h:09m:44s -12°:51':24" 04hr:42m April 11th 17h:09m:23s -12°:48':52" 04hr:02m April 21st 17h:08m:51s -12°:46':23" 03hr:22m
Pluto is best seen between April 4th – April 20th.
- April 12th VIRGINIDS & alpha Virginids (6 per hour) Favourable
- April 22nd/23rd APRIL LYRIDS (15? per hour) Fairly Favourable.
- April 28th ALPHA SCORPIIDS (5 per hour) Unfavourable.
- 6th April Comet C/2002 B2 (Linear) at Perihelion (3.843AU).
- 10th April Comet C/2002 C2 (Linear) at Perihelion (3.254AU).
- 20th April Comet C/2002 B1 (Linear) at Perihelion (2.271AU).
- 21st April Comet C/2002 A3 (Linear) at Perihelion (5.147AU).
- 29th April Comet C/2002 C1 (Ikeya – Zhang) closest to Earth at 0.405AU).
- 30th April Comet C/2000 SV74 (Linear) at Perihelion (3.542AU).
Plus these pages will give daily and weekly reports of this and other Comets progress.
- BAA Comet Section Home Page
- Comet Web Sites.
- NASA/JPL Comet Observations Home Page.
- The Astronomer Comet Page.
- April 21st at 02h:53m Disappearance of gamma Cancri.
- April 16th at 21h:55m Disappearance of Planet Saturn. mag 0.3.
- April 16th at 22h:25m Reappearance of Planet Satrun. (Bright Limb).