Dawn in April is a fascinating time for stargazers. There are a lot of planet conjunctions to see. A conjunction is where two astronomical objects, likes planets, appear close together in the sky. 

It’s all about Mercury, Venus, Mars and Saturn. Over the month you’ll see them appear to move towards and away from each other. Below are some of the highlights. If you watch regularly, you’ll be marveling at the motion of our amazing solar system.

Use the above image as a guide to see the conjunction between Mars and Saturn. Astronomical images provided by SkySafari, a Simulation Curriculum Company, All rights reserved www.simulationcurriculum.com.

When and where to look:

Look towards the eastern horizon on these early mornings at 6am:

7th April: Venus is low to the horizon. Above is the beautiful waning crescent Moon and higher again is Saturn and Mars. all in line with each other!

11th April: Mars and Saturn conjunction. Over following mornings, watch as Saturn and Mars appear to drift apart. 

19th April: Bright Venus conjunction with Mercury. You’ll need a very good line of sight to the eastern horizon. It’s only about 30 minutes before the sun rises, but you should be able to spot the two planets, Venus brighter than Mercury which is just below to the left.

Something Interesting:

Venus was once thought to be a tropical paradise! Astronomers from hundreds of years ago believed that due to the presence of an atmosphere, and the fact that Venus is closer to the Sun than the Earth, Venus would experience conditions similar to the equatorial regions of Earth. Today, we know this is far from true, with the average surface temperature of Venus reaching over 450 degrees Celsius and occasional bouts of acid rain! 

Want More Stargazing Tips?

There’s always something interesting happening in the night sky and country WA is the best place to catch all the action!