"Pillaging the Universe One Star at a Time"

 

The 2014 Bootleg Star Party dates are:

May 30th - June 1st!!

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Upcoming Observing Highlights for April 2014   (from skymaps.com)
 
3 Moon near the Pleiades (evening sky) at 11h UT.
The Pleiades (Wikipedia)
4 Moon near Aldebaran (evening sky) at 5h UT.
6 Moon near Jupiter (evening sky) at 21h UT. Mag. -2.2.
Jupiter in 2013-14 (Damian Peach)
7 First Quarter Moon at 8:31 UT.
8 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 15h UT (distance 404,500 km; angular size 29.5').
8 Mars at opposition at 21h UT. Mag. -1.5. Visible all night.
9 Moon near Beehive Cluster (evening sky) at 1h UT.
Beehive Cluster (Wikipedia)
M44: The Beehive Cluster (APOD)
10 Moon near Regulus (evening sky) at 23h UT.
14 Mars nearest to Earth at 13h UT. Mag. -1.4.
14 Moon near Mars (midnight sky) at 18h UT.
15 Moon near Spica (midnight sky) at 3h UT.
15 Full Moon at 7:44 UT.
Full Moon Names (Wikipedia)
15 Total Eclipse of the Moon begins at 7:07 UT and ends at 8:25 UT. Mid-eclipse at 7:46 UT. Partial phases begin at 5:58 UT and end at 9:33 UT. The Moon will appear red-orange in color during totality (the Earth's shadow). Visible from North and South America, and much of the Pacific.
Total Lunar Eclipse of 2014 April 15 (NASA)
17 Moon very near Saturn (155 from Sun, morning sky) at 7h UT. Mag. +0.2. Occultation visible from the southern Pacific and southern South America.
Occultation of Saturn (IOTA)
18 Moon near Antares (morning sky) at 14h UT.
22 Last Quarter Moon at 7:52 UT.
22 Lyrid meteor shower peaks at 17:45 UT. Active April 16-25. Radiant is between Hercules and Lyra. Expect 10 to 20 bright, fast meteors per hour at its peak. Moonlight interferes with viewing conditions this year.
The Lyrids (Gary Kronk)
Meteor Shower Calendar 2014 (IMO)
23 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 0h UT (369,765 km; angular size 32.3').
25 Moon near Venus (morning sky) at 21h UT. Mag. -4.1.
26 Mercury at superior conjunction with the Sun at 3h UT. The elusive planet passes into the evening sky.
29 New Moon at 6:17 UT. Start of lunation 1130.
Lunation Number (Wikipedia)
29 Annular Solar Eclipse (non-central) in Antarctica. Partial eclipse visible from southern Indian Ocean and Australia between 3:53 UT and 8:14 UT.
Annular Solar Eclipse of 2014 April 29 (NASA)
>>> All times Universal Time (UT).    USA Central Standard Time = UT-6 hours.  (DST = UT-5 hrs,)

 

Zodiacal Light is caused by sunlight reflected off meteoric dust in the plane of the solar system. Choose a clear, moonless night, about 1-2 hours after sunset, and look for a large triangular-shaped glow extending up from the horizon (along the ecliptic). The best months to view the Zodiacal Light is when the ecliptic is almost vertical at the horizon: March and April (evening) and October-November (morning); times reversed for the southern hemisphere.
Zodiacal Light (Wikipedia)
Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD)
Photographing the Zodiacal Light (Weatherscapes)