“Astronomical Highlights of April: Stargazing and Celestial Phenomena”

April presents an ideal Astronomical opportunity for stargazing, particularly as the prominent stars of winter, like those in Orion, Gemini, and Taurus, are still visible in the western sky. However, they won’t remain there for long, so seize the chance to observe them while you can. Additionally, in the vicinity of these stars, closer to the horizon, lies not only Jupiter but also a passing comet, 12/P Pons-Brooks, which is expected to reach its peak brightness this week.

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Here’s a rundown of key astronomical events for the week:

Monday, April 15: First Quarter Moon in Gemini
Today marks the First Quarter stage of our natural satellite, the Moon, when it appears half-lit from the perspective of Earth. Look towards the south to observe the half-lit moon, positioned just 1.5 degrees from the bright star Pollux in Gemini. Above Pollux, you’ll find Castor, the other “twin” of Gemini. Pollux and Castor are located 52 and 34 light-years away from the solar system, respectively, and rank as the 46th and 17th brightest stars in the night sky.

Thursday, April 18: Moon and Regulus
In the Astronomical  eastern night sky after dark, a waxing gibbous moon, illuminated to 80%, will be situated 3.6 degrees from Regulus, the brightest star in the Leo constellation. Regulus, meaning “star of the Lion’s breast,” holds the distinction of being the 21st brightest star in the night sky.

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