Early April Astrominute

Here is the text of the latest Hatter Planetarium – WZBT astrominute. In addition to the radio station, you may also listen here.

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Here is your Gettysburg astrominute for the first half of April, 2016. On the first of the month, the sun rises at 6:52 AM and does not set until after 7:30, eastern daylight time. In the first few days of the month, the moon will be a waning crescent in the predawn sky. A couple days after the New Moon on April 7, it will emerge into the evening sky as a growing crescent. It reaches first quarter on April 14th. The planet Jupiter is dominating the night sky right now. Already high in the east as darkness falls, it culminates about 60 degrees up in the south at 11:30 PM. Toward the middle of the month, sky-watchers have the chance to see Mercury, when it will have its best evening appearance of the year. Go out on clear evenings starting April 8.
Mercury and moon, April 8, 8:00 PM

At 8:00 PM Mercury will be just north of west and about 12 degrees above the horizon. On that evening, it happens that an extremely thin crescent moon will be just to the left of Mercury. Though the planet is relatively bright, so is the glow of the sunset, so binoculars may help. A flat and obstruction-free horizon is a must as well. Of course the sky gets darker as the minutes pass, but Mercury gets lower, setting about 8:45. At its highest on April 18, the planet will be 17 degrees above the horizon at 8:00 PM. Good luck! The astrominute is a production of Gettysburg College’s Hatter Planetarium and WZBT. Text and images are available on the Gettysburg Skies blog.

April 9, 8:00 PM

April 18, 8:00 PM