Astronomical Diary
lastquarterjpg newmoonjpg firstquarterjpg fullmoonjpg
Last Quarter New Moon First Quarter Full Moon
Apr 11
6:56 AM
Apr 23
10:26 AM
Apr 1
6:21 PM
Apr 8
10:35 AM
Current Condition X-ray Solar Flares

Speed: 495.4 km/sec
Density: 7.9 protons/cm3
More Data: ACE, DSCOVR

Explanation | More Data
Updated: Apr 01 at 0134 UT

***The sun is blank -- no sunspots.

Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory(SDO)/Helioseismic
and Magnetic Imager (HMI).
Daily Sun: 31 March 2020
6-hr max: A2 2338 UT Mar31
24-hr: A3 0932 UT Mar31
Explanation | More Data
Updated: Apr 01 at 0140 UT
Time (PST) of rise and set of some planets at 10-day interval
Rise Set Rise Set Rise Set Rise Set Rise Set
Apr 1 8:36 PM 8:24 AM 12:31 AM 1:26 PM 5:53 PM 5:14 AM 5:25 PM 4:46 AM 5:50 PM 5:14 AM
Apr 11 8:45 PM 8:44 AM 12:25 AM 1:26 PM 5:41 PM 5:05 AM 4:50 PM 4:12 AM 5:13 PM 4:37 AM
Apr 21 9:01 PM 9:14 AM 12:16 AM 1:21 PM 5:28 PM 4:56 AM 4:14 PM 3:36 AM 4:35 PM 3:59 AM
Astronomical Events April 2020

Meteor Shower

The Lyrid meteor shower has been observed for more than 2,600 years. Chinese records show that "stars fell like rain" during the meteor shower of 687 B.C. However, in recent times, the Lyrids have generally been weak. The shower typically generates a dozen meteors per hour under optimal conditions with a brief maximum that lasts for less than a day. The shower’s peak this year will be in progress on April 22 to predawn of April 23. Although not numerous, Lyrids are bright and fast meteors. Figures 3 & 3a show the position of the radiant of the meteor shower at the constellation Lyra.

Figure 3
Figure 3a


The Moon reached perigee –Moon’s closest point as it orbits Earth –on 08 April 2020 at 02:09 AM (PhST) with a perigee distance of 357,016.803 km. A supermoon is actually a modern astrological term coined by Richard Nole and defined it as “a new or full moon that occurs when the moon is within 90% of its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit”. In astronomy, it is called as Perigee Full Moon – a full moon that is closer to Earth than average. According to NASA, a supermoon or perigee full moon can be as much as 14% bigger and 30% brighter than an apogee full moon. However a 30% difference in brightness can easily be masked by clouds or the competing glare of urban lights.

Stars and Constellations

At around 11:00 PM, the seven stars that make up the Big Dipper and one of the most familiar pattern in the sky will be located in the northern hemisphere as shown in Figures 1 & 1a. The curved handle of the Big Dipper is pointing towards a bright orange star, Arcturus of the constellation Bootes, the Herdsman. Due south will be another bright star, Spica, the prominent star of the constellation Virgo, the Virgin.

The Beehive Cluster, also known as Praesepe (Latin word for “manger”), M44, NGC 2632 or Cr 189, in the constellation Cancer, the Crab spans more than a degree of the sky as shown in Figures 2 & 2a. It is an Open Type cluster of stars in which ten of its stars shine between magnitude +6.3 to +6.9. The Beehive is one of the nearest open clusters of stars in the Solar System. Under cloudless and dark sky condition, it looks like a nebulous object to the naked eye, thus it has been known since ancient times. Ptolemy, a classical Greek astronomer called it “the nebulous mass in the breast of Cancer,” and it was the first object that Galileo studied with his telescope. The Beehive Cluster is a good target for an observer using a binocular with the aid of a star map.

Figure 1
Figure 1a

Figure 2
Figure 2a
Planets Whereabout

On 01 April, at 5:00 AM, Mercury, Mars, Saturn, and Jupiter, will be observed at about 8, 39, 40 and 44 degrees above the east southeastern horizon, shining at magnitudes +0.20, +0.8, +0.7 and -2.10, respectively. Mercury will lie among the background stars of the constellation Aquarius, the Water-Bearer, Mars and Saturn will be residing among the background stars of the constellation Capricornus, the Sea Goat, and Jupiter dwells among the stars of the constellation Sagittarius, the Archer. As days pass by, the groupings of planets will form a line across the sky which becomes a beautiful astronomical sightings for all observers across the country.

At 6:45 PM, Venus and Uranus will be found at about 35 and 13 degrees above the west northwestern horizon, respectively. Venus will be shining brilliantly at magnitude -4.6, while Uranus will be feebly dimming at magnitude +5.9. Observing Uranus will require a modest-sized telescope, a star map, and a clear sky condition.

Figure 4 shows how to compare apparent magnitudes of celestial bodies such as planets and star.

Figure 4

APRIL 2020

Moon at Perigee (nearest distance to Earth = 357,016.803 km)

2:09 AM
21 Moon at Apogee (farthest distance to Earth = 406,418.973 km) 3:00 AM
26 Uranus in Conjunction with Sun 6:00 PM

Regarding the publication on page 2 of the ALMANAC FOR GEODETIC ENGINEERS 2020, which contains the data for the EPHEMERIS OF THE SUN, it was verified that the February 29, 2020 date is missing but the data for the particular date is the data printed as March 1, 2020. The data printed from April 3 to December 31 are all correct.

Kindly refer to the image/link below for the data errata on the Ephemeris of the Sun 2020.
Errata of AGE 2020, page 2
(Errata of AGE 2020 pdf file)