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Mercury & Venus April 2023

Sky Tour Astronomy Podcast

April: Mercury & Venus at Their Best

This month’s episode offers an easy-to-follow guide to finding the solar system’s two innermost planets after sunset. And then it takes you on a guided tour of the rest of the key stars and planets that you’ll see on April evenings — a fun and informative way to introduce yourself to the nighttime sky!

Mercury below Venus in the western twilight, April 7, 2023

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, March 31 – April 8

Mercury emerges this week far below Venus at dusk, while Venus makes its way toward the Pleiades. Orion turns his belt horizontal for the warming weather.

Lunarisms locator

Solar System

Pleasures of Lunar Pareidolia

Do you still see animal shapes in clouds? If so, you'll enjoy doing the same with the Moon, home to the Moon Maiden, a giant pair of scissors, and other fantastic specters of light and shadow.

Moon passing Mars in Gemini, March 27-28, 2023

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, March 24 – April 2

The Winter Hexagon fills the west after dark. The waxing Moon steps east across the evening sky from Venus past the Pleiades, then past Mars.

The crescent Moon hops over Venus in twilight, March 23-24, 2023

Celestial News & Events

This Week's Sky at a Glance, March 17 – 26

The crescent Moon visits Venus. The Orange Triangle turns nearly equilateral. And as evening grows late, Arcturus begins to dominate the low northeast. It's turning spring.

C/2023 A3 orbit

Explore the Night with Bob King

Anticipating Comet Tsuchinshan-ATLAS (C/2023 A3)

Newly discovered Comet C/2023 A3 might reach naked-eye brightness when it flies past Earth in 2024. Check out our forecast of what to expect to see in the months ahead.

Big Dipper

Explore the Night with Bob King

Tell Time with the Big Dipper; See Ceres Transit a Spiral Galaxy

Phone battery dead? Learn how to tell time with the Big Dipper. Also, don't miss a remarkable transit of Ceres in front of the bright spiral galaxy M100.

Venus and Jupiter in the west at dusk, March 10, 2023

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, March 10 – 19

Venus and Jupiter widen in twilight. Mars, Aldebaran, and Betelgeuse form a triangle of similar orange sparkles. And there's lots to explore with optical aid off the trailing foot of Gemini, including the Toes.

Moon crossing Leo at nightfall, March 5-6, 2023

Celestial News & Events

This Week's Sky at a Glance, March 3 – 12

Venus and Jupiter draw majestically apart in the evening twilight, 1° farther each day. Much higher, Mars makes its third pass in the last five months between the horntip stars of Taurus.

Red aurora

Auroras

Aurora Season Is Underway

These are the nights to get ready for the auroras — and tonight may be your lucky night. Not only is the current solar cycle swiftly intensifying, March is one of the best times of the year to see the northern lights.

Winter Hexagon

Sky Tour Astronomy Podcast

March: The Winter Hexagon

As the Northern Hemisphere edges toward the March equinox and beyond, stargazers have an abundance of brilliant stars overhead as darkness falls. Anchoring the celestial parade is Orion, the Hunter. Download or listen to this month’s Sky Tour to learn about — and how to spot — the Winter Hexagon of big, beautiful winter stars.

Venus and Jupiter at conjunction, March 1, 2023

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, February 24 – March 5

Venus and Jupiter, the two brightest celestial objects after the Sun and the Moon, shine together in the western twilight before, during, and after their March 1st conjunction.

Stages of lunar eclipse arc over the Sydney Opera House

Stargazer's Corner: Adventures Under the Night Sky

Fortune Favors the Prepared Astrophotographer

An unexpected total lunar eclipse surprises an amateur astrophotographer.

Crescent Moon, Venus, Jupiter in twilight, Feb. 21-22, 2023

Celestial News & Events

This Week's Sky at a Glance, February 17 – 26

Venus and Jupiter put on a dramatic show in twilight, as they creep toward each other for a March 1st conjunction. The crescent Moon passes though, almost kissing Jupiter on Wednesday the 22nd.

Orion Nebula with T Ori

Variable Stars

Catch Birth Flickers of Budding Suns in Orion

Three flickering stars in Orion offer insight into what life looks like before the main sequence.

Mars with Aldebaran and the Pleiades, mid-February 2023

Celestial News & Events

This Week's Sky at a Glance, February 10 – 19

Comet ZTF is fading and receding into the distance. On the other hand, it's now conveniently placed high overhead in early evening in a moonless sky; the waning Moon doesn't rise until late.

Mars, Aldebaran, and the Pleiades in late twilight, Feb. 10, 2023

This Week's Sky At a Glance

This Week's Sky at a Glance, February 3 – 12

Comet ZTF is still near its brightest, moonlight and all. Around the Big and Little Dog Stars, trace out the stick-figure patterns of the big and little dogs. A ghostly unicorn haunts the inside of the Winter Triangle.

Comet ZTF (C/2022) and Mt. Etna

Comets

Understanding the Tails of Comet ZTF (C/2022 E3)

We explore Comet ZTF's remarkable trio of tails and share the latest news and photos.

Orion and nearby constellations

Sky Tour Astronomy Podcast

February: Winterʼs Dazzling Stars

February 4th marks the midway point between Decemberʼs solstice and the March equinox. Celebrate that celestial milestone by getting outside to gaze in awe at the amazing array of bright stars youʼll find overhead on February evenings.

Comet ZTF E3 dust tail

Comets

See Comet ZTF (C/2022 E3) Dash Between Big and Little Dippers

Forget the hype and go outside to enjoy the real thing — a relatively bright comet you can see in binoculars from a dark sky.