What’s Up in the Night Sky in April?

April’s temperatures can make it a great month to check out the night sky. Here are the stars of the show for the month.

What You Need To Know

  • The full moon in April is known as the Pink Moon
  • The Lyrid meteor shower comes in late April
  • You can find Mars and Saturn in the night sky

April’s Full Moon

Let’s start off with the details on the moon this month. It will be full on April 26. This month’s full moon is known as the pink moon. Also, this full moon will be a “supermoon,” so this could be called a Super Pink Moon.

A supermoon is when the moon is full and is at its closest point to the Earth, known as perigee. Supermoons are 14% larger and 30% brighter than a regular full moon… assuming your sky is clear. 

J. David Ake/AP

Lyrid Meteor Shower

April will also bring the Lyrid meteor shower. It will peak on the night of April 22 into the morning of April 23. The best time to look for meteors will be between 4 and 5:30 a.m.

Most years, the rate of shooting stars per hour is only about 10 to 20, but some years can bring up to 90 per hour. You’ll need to go out and look up to see what the meteor shower will bring us this year – and no, you won’t need an umbrella.

A meteor streaks through the sky. (Associated Press)

Finding the Planets

Two planets will stand out this month.

Mars will be visible all month. Look for an orange dot high in the western sky each night in the early evening hours.

Saturn will also be easy to spot. Look for it in the pre-dawn skies. It will be a yellowish-white glow in the southeast sky. On April 6, it’ll appear just above and to the left of the crescent moon. Saturn will rise after 4 a.m. at the start of the month; by the end, it will appear after 2:30 a.m.

I hope you enjoy some great stargazing this month and be sure to see what’s ahead the rest of the year.