The Night Skies for March and April 2006


There is a very dim and weak lunar eclipse on Tuesday March 14 visible through much of Europe (into Wednesday March 15) and a good portion of America (at sunset on Tuesday evening). The moon, however, will miss the dark part of the Earth’s shadow, thus you may only see heavy gray darkening near the bottom or possibly some light orange glow.

The eclipse begins later at night in Europe and is already in progress when the moon rises on the East coast of North America. The eclipse sends before those on the West coast of America will see the moon rise.

The moon will rise everywhere at sunset on that evening (as it is a full moon).

On March 29th there will get a total Solar eclipse visible in Eastern Brazil (around noon time), central Africa and ending in Mongolia. A large portion of South America, Africa, some of Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia will be able to see the partial phases of this eclipse that ends at sunset in Mongolia.

Remember! Do not look at the sun directly! Use a very strong welders “glass” (not plastic), approve “sun filter” or an indirect method such as a sun-scope (box with a hole punched in the top that projects the image to a white sheet of paper on the opposite side) or camera obscura.

For more information on both eclipses go to:

http://sunearth.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse/OH/OH2006.html#2006Sep07P

Mars is dimming and heading towards the Western skies and is seen most of the night over the next two months.

Jupiter, Saturn and Venus are in the morning sky and seen prominently one or two hours before sunrise.

On the morning of April 22 (21 to 22), just after midnight, you might be able to see a few of the Lyrid meteor streaks in the sky almost overhead. Look for the brightest star in the sky, that will be Vega. The meteor eminate from just above this star, however the wanning moon might be too bright and could obscure all but a few meteor trails. This shower can only be seen in the Northern hemisphere.

 






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