Prime viewing for the Lyrid Meteor Showers occurs on April
22-23. The best viewing time for meteor showers is after midnight.
By then, the constellation Lyra should be fairly high in the
northeastern sky. Lyra is a small constellation located just
south of Cygnus. Look for four stars in the shape of a small
parallelogram with the bright star Vega immediately to the
west. Meteor sightings in this region should increase from
April 16 to April 25. Fortunately, the moon will be in its
crescent phase and setting before midnight until April 20.
Since Venus is between the Earth and the sun, it passes
through phases just like the moon--full, gibbous, quarter,
crescent, and new. During the month of April, Venus grows
brighter as it passes through its gibbous phase, waxing
The red-orange glow that reflects from the rims and cliffs
just before sunrise and after sunset are intensified by
the red rocks of Moab. As the sun sets, its light rays
are projected through the atmosphere at an angle. The shorter
wavelengths of blues and greens are easily absorbed and
scattered. The long red and orange wavelengths penetrate
deeper through the atmosphere and tint the peaks, rims,
and clouds that rise above the sun’s horizon. While
the term alpenglow, refers to the pink light reflected
off mountain peaks, it is the same physical phenomenon
that illuminates our red cliffs and creates red, pink,
and purple clouds at sunset.
Primary Sources: USGS, U.S. Naval Observatory,
Cygnus the Swan, also
known as the Northern Cross, appears to fly through the
Milky Way throughout the summer. Look for it high in
the northeastern sky toward the end of April.
As the night and the month
progress, the constellations will shift toward the west.
Orion,Taurus, and the Pleiades move beyond the western horizon
by the end of the month.