Bakersfield Night Sky – April 5, 2008
By Nick Strobel
New Moon is tonight so a very thin crescent may be seen low in the west-northwest tomorrow evening just after sunset. On Tuesday the crescent Moon will skim the top edge of the Pleiades cluster in the shoulder of Taurus. It will be a beautiful sight in binoculars (see chart A)! Orange-red Mars is moving quickly through Gemini high in the southwest evening sky. Mars will be on left edge of Gemini in a couple of weeks. A fatter crescent Moon passes by Mars on Friday and reaches First Quarter phase on Saturday (see chart B). Saturn continues to creep closer to the brightest star in Leo, Regulus. Look for them in the southeastern sky—Saturn will be just left of Regulus, about 2/3 of the way up in the sky at 9 PM. Saturn will be due south at about 10:15 tonight. The gibbous Moon will be to the right of the pair on April 14th and left of the pair on April 15th.
By 3:30 AM early Sunday morning Jupiter will be high enough to be visible above the mountains in the southeastern sky on the left side of Sagittarius. Almost directly across the sky low in the west will be Saturn. Venus rises just 30 minutes before sunrise on Sunday morning. Mercury is now too close to the Sun to see it before sunrise. We'll have to wait until the end of the month to try catching it in the evening just after sunset.
Astronomy Day, a free event especially for children and youth is on April 12th at Foothill High School. The first "workshops" start at 2 PM and there will be viewing through telescopes in the evening until 10 PM. See www.kernastro.org for details!
Want to see more of the
stars at night and save energy? Shield your lights so that the light
only goes down toward the ground. See www.darksky.org for how.
Director of the William M Thomas Planetarium at Bakersfield College
Author of the award-winning website www.astronomynotes.com
last updated: April 4, 2008
Webpage contact: Nick Strobel