April night skies are owned by the constellation Virgo! Virgo, for the amateur astronomer, can be their nemesis or their paradise. If you ever want to see a galaxy, you can train your telescope up to Virgo or Coma Berenices and see them without much effort. The effort comes in when you have to know which galaxy they are! Jeff and I had the pleasure of going to Death Valley this March with our good friend, Cliff Mygatt. We were there for 6 nights and only 2 were clear enough for us to view. I have to say that, although the viewing was amazing, the geography of Death Valley in incomparable! I was not expecting the beauty I saw! If you have a chance, you need to go! Back to viewing though, I had been working on the “2 In A View” program from the Astronomical League. This program was developed by our friend and OAS membef Bob Scott. I decided to work in Virgo. On the first object, I was stunned to see, not only 2, but 6 galaxies in my view. Amazing! When I first went to a star party, I was having a hard time finding anything in the night sky. A wise friend asked me “Can you point out Virgo to me?” I could not. He explained that I needed to be able to point out the constellations (the cities in the sky) before I can find the dim fuzzy objects (the restaurants) in the neighborhood! It was the best advice I could have received!
Moon: April 4- Last Quarter 9:02 AM
April 11- New Moon 7:31 AM
April 20- First Quarter Moon 12:59 PM
April 26- Full Moon 8:32 PM
Lyrid Meteor Showers peak on April 22nd, although will be seen from the 16th through the 25th. Because of the Waxing Gibbous Moon, only the brightest meteors will be seen at about 10 to 15 meteors per hour.