StarGazing in April 2012

Fort Worth Astronomical Society, Museum Star Party
People love looking through telescopes! 

Every month, Jane Houston Jones guides us through the sky in the What’s Up videos. We’ve made a list for you from the video so that you can be sure to see April's stargazing highlights. Get out to a star party to get some sweet views through fabulous telescopes. Consider becoming an astro club member - you'll share astronomy information, be able to borrow equipment, and learn or perfect your use of binoculars and telescopes.

Your StarGazing Shortlist

Saturn - Reaches opposition on April 15th (look east around 9:00 pm). It's visible all night long. Through a telescope you can see the icy rings of Saturn, Titan and maybe even Enceladus. 

Mars - Mars has the only ice off Earth that's easy to see distinctly. You need a telescope to see the ice, though. It’s wonderful to imagine where NASA's Mars Landers and Rovers are on the Red Planet while observing Mars. Curiosity, the Mars Rover, will land in Gale Crater in August 2012. 

Jupiter - Before we say goodbye to Jupiter for a few months, enjoy a Jupiter-crescent Moon pairing on April 22 (look west).


MercuryLook east before dawn, around 5:30 a.m.


Are you crazy about stargazing? Can't get enough? Here are resources to plan your time looking up: 

Watch What's Up for April 2012? Ice in the Solar System for sky charts and Jane Houston Jones' explanation of the stargazing targets that are on our StarGazing Shortlist. 

Read the April  2012 Guide to the Five Visible Planets by EarthSky for more details and sky charts. EarthSky is our stargazing partner and we feature their easy-to-read charts on our planner, Facebook, and Twitter. 

Enjoy Tonight’s Sky: Highlights of the April Sky by the HubbleSite. 


April is Global Astronomy Month! The 
NASA Night Sky Network, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, and Astronomers Without Borders inivite you to celebrate with us! Encourage your friends and family to go to a stargazing or solar gazing event! Visit Astronomers Without Borders to find out more. 

April 14-20, 2012 is International Dark Sky Week (IDSW)! Created in 2003 by then high-school student Jennifer Barlow, IDSW has grown to become a worldwide event and a key component of Global Astronomy Month. The goals of IDSW are simple: to appreciate the beauty of the night sky, and to raise awareness of how poor-quality lighting creates light pollution. The international Dark-Sky Association asks for your help to spread the word. Learn more. Image: The Earth at night as seen from space

Fight for your right to starlight during the GLOBE at Night program, part of Global Astronomy Month! April 11-20 is the final opportunity to participate in GLOBE at Night this year. The GLOBE at Night program is an international citizen-science campaign to raise public awareness of the impact of light pollution by inviting citizen-scientists to measure their night sky brightness and submit their observations to a website from a computer or smart phone.
 Find out more and fight for your right to starlight! 


Join our vibrant stargazing community!

We invite you to join the NASA Night Sky Network stargazing community on Facebook and Twitter for daily sky charts and lively conversation about all things planetary

Find star parties and solar viewings quickly with these apps!

Get Go StarGaze, the NASA Night Sky Network astronomy app that helps you find astronomy clubs and their stargazing events on the go!

You can also find astronomy events and clubs in Distant Suns, your personal guide to the cosmos!

Clear skies and happy stargazing!

The NASA Night Sky Network is managed by the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in cooperation with NASA.