April 2018 – Where to look for the planets

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Use the finder charts on this page to guide you to where to look for the planets in April 2018.

A few pointers:

  • All planets visible to the unaided eye look like stars. Planets visible to the unaided eye include Mercury, Venus, Earth (look down!), Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
  • In a telescope, Uranus and Neptune are visible as tiny discs. The dwarf planet Pluto remains looking like a star in even the largest amateur telescope.
  • Stars are shown to magnitude 5 on the charts unless otherwise noted. This is a compromise between what you would see from the light polluted skies of a city (where you will see significantly less stars) and dark country skies (where you will see significantly more stars).
  • Unless otherwise noted, the finder charts are prepared for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. The charts will be useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia (including Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane).
  • Chart times are given in AEST or Australian Eastern Standard Time.

3 April 2018 – Moon, Jupiter and Antares in the mid-evening sky

Moon, Jupiter and Antares (the brightest star in the ancient Greek constellation Scorpios ‘The Scorpion’) finder chart. Chart prepared for 8.30 pm AEST on Tuesday 3 April 2018 for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

7 April 2018 – Moon, Jupiter and Antares in the mid-evening sky

Moon, Mars and Saturn finder chart. Chart prepared for 11.30 pm AEST on Saturday 7 April 2018 for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

13 April 2018 – Moon, Mercury and Neptune in the morning predawn sky

Moon, Mercury and Neptune finder chart. Chart prepared for 5 am AEST on Friday 13 April 2018 for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Stars shown to magnitude 7.5 to assist with star hopping from the Moon to Neptune. Large binoculars or a telescope will be required to view Neptune. Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

19 April 2018 – Moon, Venus and Aldebaran in the evening twilight sky

Moon, Venus and Aldebaran (the brightest star in the ancient Greek constellation Taurus ‘The Bull’) finder chart. Chart prepared for 6.15 pm AEST on Thursday 19 April 2018 for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

30 April 2018 – Moon and Jupiter in the early evening sky

Moon and Jupiter finder chart. Chart prepared for 6.30 pm AEST on Monday 30 April 2018 for the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia (but will be also useful for elsewhere in Eastern Australia). Chart prepared using the highly recommended Sky Safari Pro tablet app. Used with permission.

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