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April’s deep sky: Galaxies, supernovas and more

Deep sky: A greenish spiral in star field with brighter center, and a bright detached area to its left.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Michael Terhune in Lunenburg, Massachusetts, captured this telescopic view of the galaxy Messier 51 at 11:00 pm on April 8, 2022, and wrote: “Probably one of my favorite astro shots I’ve taken! Here is M51, the Whirlpool galaxy, an excellent galaxy choice for this time of year! Clear skies all!” Thank you, Michael! See more photos from our community of April’s deep sky below.

Photos of April’s deep sky

Enjoy these April deep-sky photos taken by members of the EarthSky community. Do you have a great photo to share? Submit it to us here.

Small greenish sphere, faint double lobe inside it, on starry background.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | David Hoskin in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, captured this telescopic view of the planetary nebula Messier 97 right after midnight on April 21, 2022, and wrote: “The Owl Nebula (Messier 97), so named because of the two dark patches that resemble the eyes of an owl, is a wonderful planetary nebula that is easy to find under dark skies with a mid-sized telescope. Look 2.5 degrees south east of Merak in the direction of Phad, both of which are bright stars in the Big Dipper asterism, to locate Messier 97. The nebula is only about 8,000 years old. It is 2,030 light years from Earth.” Thank you, David!
A starry sky with sparse trees in the foreground and two bright, diffuse patches up in the sky.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Simon Capone in Cosy Corner, Western Australia, captured this panoramic view of the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds on April 5, 2022. The Magellanic Clouds are nearby systems thought to behave like galactic satellites, orbiting our own Milky Way galaxy. He wrote: “On my recent holiday in the great southern region of Western Australia, I imaged this from the front porch of our cabin at Cozy Corner. The large and small Magellanic clouds were clearly visibly in the Bortle 1 sky.” Thank you, Simon!
Spherical cluster of countless stars, growing more diffuse from the center outward.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Prabhakaran A in Jebel Jais, United Arab Emirates (UAE), captured this telescopic view of the star cluster Omega Centauri on April 1, 2022, and wrote: “Globular star cluster Omega Centauri, also known as NGC 5139, is some 15,000 light-years away. The cluster is packed with about 10 million stars much older than the sun within a volume about 150 light-years in diameter. It’s the largest and brightest of 200 or so known globular clusters that roam the halo of our Milky Way galaxy.” Thank you, Prabhakaran!

Supernova SN2022hrs

Two patches of light in star field with bright dot in between.
View at EarthSky Community Photos | Patrick Prokop in Savannah, Georgia, captured this deep, long-exposure view of supernova 2022hrs in galaxy NGC 4647 at 2:00 am on April 30, 2022. He wrote: “I captured this exploding star on the night of April 29/30… a 4hr:40mn exposure. The supernova is a star that exploded and was first observed on April 16, 2022. It is as bright as the foreground stars, which are mostly less than 20,000 light-years from us but this supernova is within the galaxy NGC 4647 which is around 63-79 MILLION light-years away!!! The galaxy next to it, Messier 60, is about 57 million light-years away. Before this star exploded, it could not be detectable with my telescope.” Thank you, Patrick!
Two patches of light in star field with bright dot between; inset shows patches without dot.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | David Hoskin in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, captured this telescopic view of supernova 2022hrs in galaxy NGC 4647 at 10:00 pm on April 20, 2022. He wrote: “There is a new supernova, designated SN2022hrs, which is located in the intermediate spiral galaxy NGC 4647 (close to Messier 60) about 63 million light years from Earth. The type 1a supernova was discovered on 16 April 2022 by Koichi Itagaki. SN2022hrs is nearly as bright as the core of NGC 4647! Compare the main image with the inset image, which was captured 2 years ago.” Thank you, David!
Two patches of light in starry background with arrow pointing to bright dot near one of them.
View at EarthSky Community Photos. | Eliot Herman in Mayhill, New Mexico, captured this telescopic view of supernova 2022hrs in galaxy NGC 4647 at 9:30 pm on April 19, 2022. He wrote: “Supernova 2022hrs was discovered in NGC 4647 that is the companion galaxy to M60 on April 16th 2022 by Koichi Itagaki. This image shows 2022hrs still brightening three days later now magnitude 13.9. A bright supernova in this pair is a great photographic target. The near full moon has been close to Virgo where M60/NGC4647 is located and has washed out the initial view. This image was captured in the first available night when the moon was still below horizon yielding a dark sky.With more moonless nights coming for SN 2022hrs there will be lots more time to improve on the 30 mins of summed capture shown.” Thank you, Eliot!

Bottom line: Members of the EarthSky community shared these amazing photos of April’s deep sky. Have a great photo of your own? Submit it to EarthSky Community Photos.

April 26, 2022
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