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    Articles > April 2003
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Bushnell 10x50 Binoculars

You will be amazed at what you can see with a good pair of binoculars. The Bushnell 10x50 binoculars are an excellent, low-cost choice for the urban stargazer. Crisp, wide-angle views at a great price. A 5-star bestseller. Discounted at Amazon.com.
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  Sky Calendar -- April 2003
Support National Dark Sky Week 1­8 April (USA). National Dark Sky Week is a week during which everyone in the United States turns off outdoor lighting to temporarily reduce light pollution so we can step back for a moment and realize the wonder that our universe holds (more info).
1 New Moon at 19:19 UT. Beginning of lunation 993.
2 Moon near Mercury (mag. ­1.4) at 23h UT (12° from Sun in evening sky). Low in the west 30­40 minutes after sunset.
3 Jupiter 1.1° from Beehive Cluster (M44). The pair is best seen with the aid of binoculars. Jupiter (mag. ­2.3) will move slowly away (eastward) from M44 during the course of the month.
4 Moon at apogee (furthest from Earth) at 4h UT (distance 406,209 km; angular size 29.4').
7 Saturn's rings most open, 27° from edgewise. Given the relative closeness of the ringed-planet to Earth at present, this is truly a spectacular sight in a telescope. Not to be missed! Next ring maximum event occurs on 16 October 2017.
7 Moon near Saturn (mag. +0.1) at 21h UT.
9 First Quarter Moon at 23:40 UT.
11 Moon near Jupiter (mag. ­2.2) at 9h UT.
16 Mercury at greatest elongation, 20° east of the Sun (evening sky). Event occurs at 14h UT. Look for Mercury (mag. +0.1) low in the west-northwest about 15° beneath the Pleiades star cluster.
16 Full Moon at 19:36 UT. The full Moon of April is called the "Grass Moon" or "Egg Moon".
17 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 5h UT (distance 357,157 km; angular size 33.5').
22 Lyrid meteor shower peaks. The Lyrids are the earliest recorded meteor shower, having being observed by Chinese astronomers in 687 B.C. The shower is active between April 16­25, and its radiant is located between Hercules and Lyra. Expect between 10 to 15 bright, fast meteors per hour at its peak. Unfortunately, this year's Lyrids display will be adversely affected by the presence of bright moonlight.
23 Moon near Mars (mag. +0.5) at 8h UT (29° from Sun in morning sky).
23 Last Quarter Moon at 12:19 UT.
28 Moon 2.4° from Venus (mag. ­3.9) at 20h UT (morning sky).
All times in Universal Time (UT). (USA Eastern Standard Time = UT ­ 5 hours.)

Clear skies till next month!

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