Bruce McClure

Star-hop to the Coma star cluster

Long ago, the Coma star cluster represented the Lion’s tufted tail. Today, we know it as an open star cluster, whose stars were born together and are still loosely bound by gravity.

Chart: 4 positions of waning moon near 2 planets along slanted ecliptic line.

Moon, Jupiter, Saturn before sunup on April 5-8

The waning crescent moon will be sweeping by the morning planets, Jupiter and Saturn, from April 5-8, 2021.

Last quarter moon in a blue sky.

Last quarter moon on April 4, 2021

get up early on April 4, 2021, to view the southernmost last quarter moon of the year.

Dark sky over buildings with stars labeled.

How to see the Southern Cross from the Northern Hemisphere

Despite its location far in the Southern Hemisphere, the constellation of the Southern Cross is visible to those located in the Northern Hemisphere, as long as you are far enough south and know just when to look.

April 2021 guide to the bright planets

April 2021 showcases 3 bright planets. Mars is the only easy-to-see bright planet in the evening sky. Jupiter and Saturn adorn the early morning hours. Mercury and Venus hover too close to the sun’s glare for easy viewing.

Waning gibbous moon in front of the constellation Scorpius before dawn April 1 and 2, 2021.

Moon and star Antares on April 1 and 2

On the mornings of April 1 and 2, 2021, watch for the waning gibbous moon to be in the vicinity of red Antares, the brightest star in the constellation Scorpius the Scorpion.

JUpiter's four major moons: Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto.

Jupiter’s equinox and mutual events of its 4 major moons

The king planet Jupiter reaches its equinox on May 2, 2021, an event that always causes mutual events of Jupiter’s 4 major moons. It’s an eclipse season of the moons.

See the zodiacal light

With the moon waning, those in the Northern Hemisphere might glimpse the mysterious zodiacal light in the west after true darkness falls. Southern Hemisphere? Look east before dawn.

Spica is your guide star to Omega Centauri

Omega Centauri is the largest and finest globular star cluster visible to the eye alone. You can see it in a dark sky. Binoculars or a telescope show it best. In late March, the moon can help you find the star Spica, which can later lead you to the cluster.

Basket of eggs with brightly colored, intricate designs painted on them.

When is Easter in 2021?

In 2021, Easter Sunday will fall on April 4. How the date of Easter is determined, here.