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The Stars Align with Mr. Dave

APRIL 2014


April is the fourth month of the year in the Gregorian calendar, and the fifth in the early Julian calendar. April had 29 days on calendars of the Roman Republic, with a day added to the month during the reform in the mid-40s BC that produced the Julian calendar. The name comes from the Aprilis, the Roman name for the month of April. The derivation of the name is uncertain but is believe to be associated the Roman verb aperire meaning "to open" and possibly the Greek word anoixis(opening).


This month’s Full Moon is most commonly known as the Pink Moon. It is also known as the Seed Moon, Planter’s Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon, Grass Moon, Flower Moon, Egg Moon, and Fish Moon, The Dakota Sioux called it the Moon When Geese Return in Scattered Formation. The Illinois Native Americans call it the Do Nothing Moon. The Oto called it Little Frogs Croak Moon.



·     First Quarter Moon: April 7

·     Farthest from Earth: April 8 (252,421 miles – mini Moon)           

·     Full Moon: April 15 (and total lunar eclipse see details under special events)

·     Last Quarter Moon: April 22

·     Closest to Earth: April 22 (229,761 miles – super-size Moon)

·      New Moon: April 29


Planets Visible:

·     Early evening:

o     Jupiter: Face south, look for the brightest star near overhead.

o     Mars: Look for a bright star low on the eastern horizon rising directly east one hour after sunset at the beginning of the month. Mars will be well above the eastern horizon at sunset by month’s end.

·     Morning before sunrise:

o     Mars will be visible setting in the west the first week of the month

o     Venus will be visible on the eastern horizon all month, but will become increasing difficult to see as it gets closer the rising Sun at month’s end

o     Saturn will be visible in the southwest at the beginning of the month, but will be lost in the morning daylight by month’s end.


·     April 19: The Sun enters the astronomical constellation Aries.

·     April 20: The Sun enters the astrological sign Taurus.



·     April 14: Passover begins on the evening of the Full Moon after the spring equinox.

·     April 20: Easter, the first Sunday after the first Full Moon (April 15 for Denver) after the spring equinox. 



·     April 22: The Lyrid meteors peak. Typically there are 10-20 meteors per hour, but can be in excess of 90 per hour. Some can be very bright. Best viewed between 1am and 3am.

About Mr. Dave

Hi, my name is Mr. Dave. That’s what Larissa, Rick’s granddaughter, calls me. I have been interested in astronomy since childhood. I have been a member of the Denver Astronomical Society since 1977, and a Public Night presenter at DU’s historic Chamberlin Observatory since 1986. Like most all amateur astronomers I enjoy talking about astronomy and introducing people to the night sky. There is nothing more satisfying than hearing that “WOW” when someone looks through a telescope for the first time. The thing is you do not have to own a telescope to enjoy the night sky. Enjoying the night sky, at any level, is what it is all about. It may be as simple as finding Jupiter or identifying a bright star for the first time, watching a moonrise or moonset, noticing the seasonal changes of constellations, or observing the planets moving in their orbits.  If you have the slightest interest in things astronomical join me here. I will keep simple, but be warned you could get hooked.
Rick's Thought for the Day

Thought 4.17

Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to.
-George Seaton

Thought 4.11

The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.
Muhammad Ali