In the next two weeks the Moon will be observable in the pre-dawn sky making it convenient for all early risers. The Moon will pass by Saturn, and Venus. The Moon also passes by the bright stars Altair, and Antares, and pass though the constellations Virgo, Libra, Scorpius, Ophiuchus (Off E U cus), Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius, Aries and Taurus. Note: This is based on information for Aurora, CO, but is close enough for use in other locations.
The Moon will go from Full Moon (April 15) to New Moon (no moon visible) in the next two weeks. Watch how the Moon changes position and phase as it orbits the Earth. Observe the Moon thirty minutes to one hour before sunrise (approximately 6:21am to 6:01am MDT at month’s end) if you can. After a few days see if you can predict where the Moon will be in the sky and its phase the next day. It’s a pattern our forefathers knew well, but lost to most of us living in the modern lighted world. You might just be surprised on how easy it is.
April 16-21: The waning gibbous (gets smaller) phases. The Moon starts off as a Full Moon on the western horizon opposite the rising Sun in the east. Over the next six days the Moon’s phase will get smaller or wan as the Moon moves easterly toward the rising Sun.
April 16-17: The Moon is in the constellation Libra the scales. There are no bright stars in Libra. On April 16 Saturn is above and to the left of the Moon. On April 17 the Moon moves left of and very close to Saturn. Left of the Moon is the bright star Antares, a red super giant in the constellation Scorpius the scorpion. See if you can detect the red hue. If Antares were the Sun the Earth and Mars would be orbiting inside of it.
April 18-19: The Moon enters the constellation Ophiuchus the serpent-bearer and thirteenth constellation of the Zodiac. Astrologically the Zodiac has only twelve. There are no bright stars in Ophiuchus. On April 18 the Moon is above and right of Antares.
April 20-21: The Moon is in the constellation Sagittarius the archer. Sagittarius points the way to the center of our galaxy. Amateur astronomers often refer to Sagittarius as the “Tea Pot” because the pattern of stars looks more like a tea pot rather than an archer.
April 22: The Moon enters the constellation Capricornus, the goat. There are no noticeably bright stars in Capricornus. The Moon is at third (or last) quarter or half-moon. At this phase the Moon is approximately in the same place in space the Earth and you will be in 3.5 hours. Well above the Moon is Altair in the constellation Aqulia the eagle.
April 23-28: The waning crescent (gets smaller) phases. The Moon starts off as a Last Quarter Moon. Over the next six days the Moon’s crescent will thin as the Moon moves easterly diving toward the rising Sun.
April 23-24: The Moon is in the constellation of Aquarius the water bearer. There are no noticeably bright stars in Aquarius. A bright Venus is lower left of the Moon.
April 25-27: A thinning crescent Moon will be in Pisces the fishes. There are no noticeably bright stars are in Pisces. On April 25 the Moon is above Venus, and a nice photo opportunity. On April 25 the Moon will be left of Venus.
April 28-29: The Moon is in will be in Aries the ram and lost in the glare of the rising Sun.
April 29 is New Moon (no moon) and the cycle renews again. The Moon rises and sets with the Sun. New Moon marks the transition of the Moon from the morning sky to the evening sky.
April 30-May 5: The waxing (gets bigger) crescent phases. The Moon will start off as a very thin crescent on the western horizon near the setting Sun. Over the next five days the crescent will thicken and the Moon will move easterly away from the setting Sun to the south.
April 30: Moon will start off as a difficult to see very thin crescent on the western horizon near the setting Sun is constellation Taurus the bull.
Wishing you clear skies