Microblogging on Astronomy. @SkyTonight tweets about what's up in your sky tonight (normally a few hours after sunset) as seen from mid-northern latitudes (most of USA).
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What’s up for May 2013?
April 27: Saturn (mag 0.1) is at opposition tonight. The ringed planet is at its closest and brightest for the year 2013. It is visible all night long tonight rising at sunset and setting at sunrise. Take out your telescope!
Photo: Saturn on April 26th, 05:33 UT Efrain Morales Rivera Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
April 25: Full Moon near Saturn (mag 0.1) tonight. Rises shortly after sunset in ESE.
April 20: 74.7% illuminated waxing gibbous Moon near Regulus (mag 1.36) of Leo tonight. Use binoculars or a small telescope to find Plato, Copernicus and Tycho craters near the terminator line.
Photo: Waxing Gibbous Moon by Thomas Bresson, Flickr (October 25, 2012)
April 17: First Quarter Moon tomorrow morning at 7:31 am CDT. Exact quarter phase (50% illuminated Moon) not visible from US as the Moon sets around 2 am tonight. The Moon will be about ~46% illuminated tonight and ~55% tomorrow night as seen from the US.
The first quarter phase is the best time to observe the moon through a small telescope.
Photo: Steve Elliott, Flickr
April 15: Saturn (mag 0.2) rises in ESE about an hour after sunset. Look for it to the lower left of Spica (mag 0.98). Saturn is approaching opposition (on April 28th), which means now is a great time to view the ringed planet through a telescope. It is best to look at it around 2 am tonight when it is at its highest point in the sky (At that time, the Moon will also have already set).
April 14: Jupiter and waxing crescent Moon less than 5° apart tonight. They set about 4 hours after sunset. Look west.