Astronomy Essentials
Visible planets and night sky for April 2023
Visible planets in April: Evening planets are dazzling Venus, red Mars and Mercury near the horizon. Saturn is the only morning planet.
Tornadoes hard to forecast, but predictions improving
Meteorologists are making improvements in forecasting tornadoes. New tools, such as drones and computer modeling, are aiding improvements.

Sun activity: Coronal mass ejections, none Earth-bound

Sun activity for April 1, 2023. Gorgeous prominences and coronal mass ejections all around the edge of the sun. No Earth-bound CMEs were observed.

SpaceX Starlink launches for April. Watch here

SpaceX has 6 Starlink launches planned for the month of April 2023. Learn more about them, including how to watch, here.

Mercury best in April 2023, for northern viewers

Mercury is visible in the evening sky. Look in the sunset direction as the sky is darkening. The planet reaches its greatest elongation on April 11, 2023.

Summer Triangle, signpost for all seasons

Watch for the 3 bright stars of the Summer Triangle - Vega, Deneb and Altair - before dawn in March, before midnight in May and at dusk on the summer solstice.

Icy rain from Saturn’s rings is heating the planet

A new discovery shows an icy rain from Saturn's rings affects the planet's atmosphere. This insight could help lead to the discovery of rings around exoplanets.

Brightest gamma-ray burst of ‘all time’

The brightest gamma-ray burst of all time - or at least so far - blasted into the collective consciousness of earthly astronomers on October 9, 2022.

See 5 planets after sunset, in the sky or via video

This week you can see 5 planets arcing across the evening sky. They are Venus and Uranus, Jupiter and Mercury, and Mars. See charts here.
Astronomy Essentials

Best targets for binoculars, for beginners

The best targets for binoculars in the night sky are the moon, planets, star clusters and nebulae. Learn what sky’s wonders you can see through binoculars.