Sky Shows
by Maya del Mar

The early evening spring sky is spectacular, with grand Orion standing in the West, with his jeweled belt and multi-colored bright stars. Greenish Sirius, our brightest star, is to his left. Sirius was the sacred star of the Egyptians, and it conjoins the United States Sun.

Taurus the Bull is up and to the right of Orion. Nestled in Taurus, near his red bull eye, Aldeberan, is brilliant Jupiter and, just below it, yellowish Saturn, near the Pleiades.

Jupiter and Saturn will fade into the evening twilight in late May, so enjoy them while you can. From April 24-26 crescent Moon makes a lovely trio with these two big guys. Look west 30 minutes after sunset.

Red Mars rises in the east two hours after Jupiter sets in the west. During the next four months Mars will dominate the night sky. It will be on its retrograde trip, so it will appear to almost stand still. Mars is brightening nightly, and it will be brighter than it’s been for ten years. Mars has passed its twin, Antares, and that also-red star now lies a bit to the west.

We have one of the reliable meteor showers this month, and with good viewing, during the dark of the moon. The Lyrid meteor shower peaks on the night of April 21-22, and is visible after 10:30 p.m. local time. There may be 15-20 meteors/hour during its peak period.

Happy viewing on these balmy spring evenings!