April has a number of astronomy sights that do not require any equipment
On April 6, the moon will pass just a degree away from the brilliant blue-white star Regulus, sometimes called the Heart of the Lion. It’s the bottom most star in the constellation Leo which looks a bit like a backward question mark. Look to the east after sunset.
The following night, April 7, Jupiter reaches opposition—or the opposite side of the sky from the sun, also bringing the planet its closest to Earth (415 million miles). This week will be a great one to view Jupiter. It will be at its biggest and brightest, outshining the nearby brilliant star Spica. Since Jupiter is opposite the sun, look for the planet to rise in the east as the sun is setting in the west and be visible all night. A good pair of binoculars can also reveal Jupiter’s four largest moons.
Later the month Jupiter, Spica, and the moon will form a tight triangle, look for a Saturn-Moon conjunction, and Mars will nestle up to the Pleiades, a star cluster which plays a role in story telling of native peoples around the world. The lyric meteor shower peaks the evening of the 21st and Venus will dance with the moon on the 23rd.
More on those later.
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