Here’s a quick look at what’s going on in the sky during the month of April, 2012:
April 6 — Full Moon, 3:19 p.m. The visible Moon is fully illuminated by direct sunlight. Though the Moon is only technically in this phase for a few seconds, it is considered “full” for the entire day of the event, and appears full for three days.
April 7 — Moon at perigee (its closest point to the Earth), 1 p.m.
April 13— Last Quarter Moon, 6:50 a.m. One-half of the Moon appears illuminated by direct sunlight while the illuminated part is decreasing.
April 15— Saturn at opposition. A body in space is at opposition when it sits 180° from the Sun in relationship to the Earth. This is the best time to view a planet.
April 21— New Moon, 3:19 a.m. The Moon is not illuminated by direct sunlight.
April 22— Moon at apogee (its farthest point to the Earth), 10 a.m.
April 22— Lyrid Meteor Shower. Due to the New Moon, 2012 should be a very favorable year for viewing this normally moderate shower. Expect 10-20 meteors per hour.
April 22— Astronomy Day.
April 29— First Quarter Moon, 5:58 a.m. One-half of the Moon appears illuminated by direct sunlight while the illuminated part is increasing.