Star Watch

Star Watch for Spring 2022

The WCSU Planetarium and Observatory facility remains closed due to the coronavirus and its variants and sub-variants. Let’s hope to see an end to them in the coming months. Meanwhile, you can still observe the heavens! Please use the Sky Calendar (below) to help you find interesting celestial objects and events during the spring season. Our best wishes!

 

SKY CALENDAR

*, !, !! – interesting to very interesting celestial event

E –  calendar or geometry- related event (such as an equinox)

 

Date Note Description
April 1 New Moon. Look ESE before dawn to see Venus, Saturn and Mars.
5 * Close conjunction of Saturn and Mars in the SE predawn sky. Venus is also present, but lower and farther to the left of the planetary pair.
7 The Moon reaches apogee at 251,306 miles from Earth’s center.
9 First Quarter Moon
14 ! Look ESE 40 minutes before sunrise to see (looking from left toward right) Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn.
16 FULL Pink MOON
19 The Moon reaches perigee at 226,889 miles from Earth’s center.
23 Last Quarter Moon
24 * The Moon, one night past Last Quarter, is seen near Saturn.
25 * The Moon passes near Mars.
26 * Venus passes near Moon.
27 – 28 ** Conjunctions of waning crescent Moon, brilliant Venus and bright Jupiter. Look low in ESE during morning twilight.
29 * Mercury reaches a Greatest Eastern Elongation 20.6 degrees east of the Sun. Look low in W during evening twilight. In a telescope, Mercury resembles a small quarter Moon.
30 !! New Moon. Extremely close conjunction of Venus and Jupiter! Mars and Saturn are higher and farther toward the right. Look low in ESE before sunrise.
May 2 * Look in the western sky after sunset to view the waxing crescent Moon near Mercury
5 The Moon reaches apogee at 251,833 miles from Earth’s center.
8 First Quarter Moon
15 – 16 ! FULL Flower MOON, and TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE. The moon enters Earth’s penumbral shadow at 9:32 p.m. EDT. Partial eclipse begins at 10:28 p.m., and totality starts at 11:29 p.m. Maximum eclipse is at 12:11 a.m. Totality ends at 12:54 a.m. The partial phase ends at 1:55 a.m. Finally, penumbral eclipse ends at 2:51 a.m.
 17 Moon reaches perigee at 223,879 miles from Earth’s center
22 Last Quarter Moon passes near Saturn.
24 ! Moon passes near Mars and Jupiter.
28 Jupiter and Mars pass close to each other.
30 New Moon
June 1 Moon reaches apogee at 252,396 miles from Earth’s center
7 First Quarter Moon
14 FULL Strawberry MOON. Moon reaches perigee at 222,098 miles from Earth’s center
16 ! The planet Mercury reaches Greatest Western Elongation, 23 degrees west of the Sun. This is a “morning planet” configuration; look east during pre-dawn twilight. In a telescope, Mercury will look like a tiny quarter Moon.
16 – 27 ** Between mid-June and the end of the month, starting around 45 minutes before sunrise, all the naked-eye planets form a line from east to southeast in their order from the Sun! The Moon passes near each planet before dawn: 18th, Moon below Saturn; 21st, Moon below Jupiter; 22nd, Moon to the right of Mars; 26th, Moon above Venus; 27th, Moon above Mercury
20 Last Quarter Moon
21 E The summer solstice (Sun farthest north of the equator) occurs at 5:14 a.m. EDT. Also, the Moon, one day past Last Quarter, passes near the planet Jupiter.
22 * The waning crescent Moon passes near the planet Mars.
26 – 27 ** On June 26 before dawn, look low in the east to see bright Venus near the thin waning crescent Moon. On June 27 before dawn, look low in the east to see Mercury near the very thin waning crescent Moon
28 ! New Moon
29 Moon reaches apogee at 252,637 miles from Earth’s center.