A celestial event may be a rare or recurring astronomical phenomenon of interest that involves one or more celestial objects. Some examples of celestial events include the blue moon, solar and lunar eclipses, meteor showers, comet flybys, cyclical phases of the moon, and much more!
These occurrences are best viewed away from bright city lights with visibility highly dependent on location, cloud cover and weather conditions.
Free sky maps What's in the sky this month at Star Date.
Lyrids Meteor Shower
The Lyrids is an average shower, usually producing about 20 meteors per hour at its peak. It peaks this year on the night of April 22nd and morning of the 23rd. These meteors can sometimes produce bright dust trails that last for several seconds. The first quarter moon will set shortly after midnight, leaving dark skies for the what could be a good show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Lyra, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
Mercury at Greatest Western Elongation
The planet Mercury reaches greatest western elongation of 27 degrees from the sun. This is the best time to view Mercury since it will be at its highest point above the horizon in the morning sky. Look for the planet low in the eastern sky just before sunrise.
The Eta Aquarids is an above average shower capable of producing up to 60 meteors per hour at its peak. Most of the activity is seen in the southern hemisphere. In the northern hemisphere, the rate can reach about 30 meteors per hour. It peaks this year on the night of May 6th and the morning of May 7th. The waning gibbous moon will block most of the fainter meteors this year, but you should be able to catch quite a few good ones if you are patient. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Aquarius, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
Jupiter at Opposition
The giant planet will be at its closest approach to Earth and its face will be fully illuminated by the sun. It will be brighter than any other time of the year and will be visible all night long. This is the best time to view and photograph Jupiter and its moons. A medium-sized telescope should be able to show you some of the details in Jupiter’s cloud bands. A good pair of binoculars should allow you to see Jupiter’s four largest moons, appearing as bright dots on either side of the planet.