Until Tonight

Will you see the young moon? Before dawn, Lyrid meteors in a until Tonight sky! Lyrid meteors before dawn April 23? 24 hours old from many parts of Earth.

If you do see the moon on April 16, you’ll find it low in the western twilight, beneath the brilliant planet Venus. If you catch it from North America or, say, Hawaii, you’ll see seeing the young moon on the official day of new moon. But, in reality, the moon will be more than a day old for us. New moon is April 16 at 1:57 UTC. At North American time zones, that means the new moon happened on April 15, at 10:57 p.

From most of North America, the moon will plunge beneath the horizon less than one hour after sunset. To find the young moon, find an unobstructed horizon in the direction of sunset Monday evening. Bring along binoculars, if you have them. If you miss the young moon after sunset on April 16, look again on the evenings after that. A thin, but wider, waxing crescent will pair up more closely with Venus on April 17, as shown on the sky chart below.

Bottom line: We’ll be waiting to find out how many sky watchers catch the young moon on April 16, 2018! Tell us, in the comments below. Please forward this error screen to 192. Please forward this error screen to 75.

Will you see the young moon? Before dawn, Lyrid meteors in a dark sky! Lyrid meteors before dawn April 23? They’ll be close from moonrise on, but highest in the sky on the morning of November 11. In the coming mornings, watch the moon edge toward bright Jupiter before dawn. Saturday before dawn, to see the wide waning crescent moon coupling up with Regulus, brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion. The two luminaries will be highest up for the night around dawn Saturday.

As darkness is giving way to dawn, notice the relationship between the moon, Regulus, and a very bright object in the direction of sunrise. Venus is the brightest planet and brightest object in the sky besides the sun and moon. The lighted portion of the moon will be pointing toward it on Saturday and in the coming mornings. And know that Jupiter is now edging higher in the dawn sky! Jupiter and Venus will have a spectacular conjunction on November 13. Regulus before dawn on November 11, 2017. At Anchorage, Alaska, for instance, Regulus will disappear behind the moon’s illuminated side at 7:07:17 a.

Click here for more about the November 11 occultation of Regulus. Regulus is the only first-magnitude star to sit almost squarely on the ecliptic, which marks the path of the sun, moon and planets across our sky. In our day and age, the sun’s yearly conjunction with Regulus happens on or near August 23. Ancient astronomers once thought the sun literally moved through the constellations of the zodiac, while the Earth remained at rest at the center of the universe. Of course, we now know that the Earth revolves around the sun, and that the sun resides at the center of our solar system. We also know that the sun’s apparent daily motion in front of the backdrop stars is really a reflection of Earth revolving around the sun. The ecliptic is actually the Earth’s orbital plane projected onto the constellations of the zodiac.