04/01/2016 – Ephemeris – Let’s preview April skies
Ephemeris for April Fools Day, Friday, April 1st. The Sun will rise at 7:22. It’ll be up for 12 hours and 48 minutes, setting at 8:11. The Moon, 1 day past last quarter, will rise at 4:23 tomorrow morning.
The 4th month of the year begins today. Daylight hours in the Interlochen/Traverse City area and will increase from 12 hours and 48 minutes today to 14 hours 13 minutes on the 30th. The altitude, or angle, of the sun above the southern horizon at local noon will be 50 degrees today and will ascend to 60 degrees on the 30th. The altitude of the sun in the Straits area will be a degree lower. The actual time of local apparent noon this month for the Interlochen/Traverse City area, when the sun passes due south, will be about 1:43 p.m. Jupiter and Mercury are the evening planets this month, with Mercury making its brief appearance away from the Sun’s sunset glow around mid-month.
Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.
April Star Chart
The planets and stars are plotted for the 15th at 10 p.m. EDT. That is chart time. Note, Traverse City is located approximately 45 minutes behind our time meridian. (An hour 45 minutes behind our daylight saving time meridian.) To duplicate the star positions on a planisphere you may have to set it to 1:45 earlier than the current time.
Evening nautical twilight ends at 9:15 p.m. EDT on the 1st, increasing to 9:59 p.m. EDT on the 30th.
Morning nautical twilight starts at 5:21 a.m. EDT on the 1st, and decreasing to 4:37 a.m. EDT on the 31st.
Add a half hour to the chart time every week before the 15th and subtract a half hour for every week after the 15th. Before the 13th also subtract an hour for Standard Time.
For a list of constellation names to go with the abbreviations click here.
- Pointer stars at the front of the bowl of the Big Dipper point to Polaris the North Star
- A leaky Big Dipper drips on Leo
- Follow the arc of the handle of the Big Dipper to the star Arcturus
- Extend the ac to a spike to point to Spica
Calendar of Planetary Events
Credit: Sky Events Calendar by Fred Espenak and Sumit Dutta (NASA’s GSFC)
To generate your own calendar go to http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SKYCAL/SKYCAL.html
Times are Eastern Time. Some additions made to aid clarity.
Date Time(EDT) Event Apr 01 Fr Venus: 17.4° W 05 Tu 1:27 p.m. Moon Descending Node 06 We 4:30 a.m. Moon-Venus: 0.7° S 07 Th 7:24 a.m. New Moon 07 Th 1:36 p.m. Moon Perigee: 357200 km 09 Sa 5:28 p.m. Uranus Conjunction 10 Su 6:05 p.m. Moon-Aldebaran: 0.4° S Occultation* 12 Tu 8:12 a.m. Moon North Dec.: 18.3° N 13 We 11:59 p.m. First Quarter 16 Sa 8:46 p.m. Moon-Regulus: 2.7° N 18 Mo 12:42 a.m. Moon-Jupiter: 2.4° N 18 Mo 9:59 a.m. Mercury Elongation: 19.9° E 18 Mo 2:04 a.m. Moon Ascending Node 21 Th 12:05 p.m. Moon Apogee: 406400 km 22 Fr 1:24 a.m. Full Moon 22 Fr 1:30 a.m. Lyrid Shower: ZHR = 20 25 Mo 3:28 p.m. Moon-Saturn: 3.7° S 27 We 12:44 a.m. Moon South Dec.: 18.4° S 27 We 12:33 p.m. Mars-Antares: 4.9° N 28 Th 4:32 a.m. Mercury-Pleiades: 6.5° S 29 Fr 11:29 p.m. Last Quarter May 01 Su Venus: 9.8° W * Occultation 6:29 - 7:38 p.m. In daylight - Grand Traverse Area See Friday April 9th post.