Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Saturday, April 1, 2017

April stargazing

Lots of reasons to look up.

Stargazing Summary
The brightest objects in the night sky other than the Moon bracket the mornings this month. Venus reigns as the brilliant Morning Star in the east, with next-brightest Jupiter on the opposite side of the sky. Venus is quite low as April begins, but climbs higher as the month progresses. Jupiter is well up in the sky in early April, but sets around dawn by the end of the month.
More stargazing information

Radio Program Highlights
If you want to start hearing the StarDate program in your area, you can request a station to carry our program by emailing the request to

April 1-2: Moon meanderings. The Moon passes by some bright lights in the evening sky this week, including two planets and two orange stars. Join us for these beautiful encounters, plus the potential for life on a cold world and more.

April 3-9: Point of no return. A black hole doesn't have a solid surface. Instead, it has a boundary — a point of no return for matter and energy, and we'll have details. Join us for the event horizon, plus a giant planet puts on a giant display and much more.

April 10-16: Odd planets. Among the thousands of planets found in other star systems are one with a layer of garnet beneath its crust, and another that rains rubies and sapphires, and we'll have details. Join us for these odd "exoplanets" and more.

April 17-23: Final visit. The Cassini spacecraft will pay a final call on an old friend this week: Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. That encounter will set up the craft's final flight path, which will lead to its end later this year. Join us for Cassini and more.

April 24-30: A black hole feast. A giant black hole at the heart of a galaxy has been feasting on a star for more than a decade, and we'll have details. We'll also talk about a rare "middleweight" black hole. Join us for black holes, plus much more, right here.

Program schedule »

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Coming up in StarDate Magazine
In May/June, we'll bring your our special Summer Reading Issue, in which we recommend new books. We'll have feature-length excerpts from four new books in astronomy and space science, plus astronomy news, skywatching tips and charts, and Merlin's answers to your questions.

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About SkyTips
SkyTips is a monthly email newsletter for visitors to McDonald Observatory and StarDate Online. Each issue features stargazing highlights, upcoming StarDate radio program descriptions, and other news. Please feel free to forward this newsletter to your friends and family.

SkyTips is a publication of the University of Texas McDonald Observatory Education and Outreach Office, 2515 Speedway C1402, Austin, TX 78712. Reproduction of SkyTips content is permitted with proper credit given to McDonald Observatory.

Also, from

Lyrid meteors peak

Credit: Starry Night

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