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    Articles > April 2008
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The Night Sky Companion

by Tammy Plotner

A day-by-day guide to skywatching in 2008-2009. Will appeal to readers at all skill levels.
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Celstron SkyMaster Giant
15x70 Binoculars

(with tripod adaptor)

You will be amazed at the celestial objects you can view with a good pair of binoculars. The Celestron SkyMaster15x70 binoculars are an excellent, low-cost choice for the urban skywatcher.
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  Sky Calendar -- April 2008
National Dark Sky Week, March 29 to April 4. Switch off unnecessary outdoor lights. For more information please visit http://www.ndsw.org.
4 Moon near Venus at 21h UT (17° from Sun, morning sky).
6 New Moon at 3:55 UT. Start of lunation 1055.
7 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 19h UT (361,080 km; 33.1').
9 Moon near the Pleiades at 1h UT (evening sky).
12 Moon very near Mars at 6h UT (evening sky). Mag. +1.0. Occultation visible from Quebec, New Brunswick, Greenland, and Iceland.
12 Moon near Pollux at 18h UT (evening sky).
12 First Quarter Moon at 18:32 UT.
13 Moon very near Beehive cluster (M44) at 20h UT (evening sky). Multiple occultations visible from Europe, United Kingdom, and Northern Africa.
15 Moon near Regulus at 13h UT (evening sky).
15 Moon near Saturn at 17h UT (evening sky). Mag. +0.5.
15 Mercury at superior conjunction at 7h UT (not visible). Passes into the evening sky.
19 Moon near Spica at 21h UT (evening sky).
20 Full Moon at 10:25 UT. Called the Grass Moon or Egg Moon.
Full Moon Names (Wikipedia)
22 Lyrid meteor shower peaks at 5h UT. Active between April 16-25. Radiant is located between Hercules and Lyra. Expect between 10 to 20 bright, fast meteors per hour at its peak. Very unfavorable viewing conditions this year due to moonlight.
Meteor Shower Calendar 2008 (IMO)
23 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 10h UT (distance 405,943 km; angular size 29.6').
23 Moon very near Antares at 18h UT (morning sky). Occultation visible from Southern Australia, and New Zealand.
Occultation of Antares (IOTA)
26 Mars 4.8° from Pollux at 21h UT (evening sky). Mags. +1.2 & +1.2.
27 Moon near Jupiter at 6h UT (morning sky). Mag. -2.3.
28 Last Quarter Moon at 14:12 UT.
All times Universal Time (UT). USA Eastern Summer Time = UT - 4 hours.

Clear skies till next month!

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