This spring, an eclipse, planets and a meteor shower
Spring started on March 20 at 17.57 h. Until June 21 the days will grow a little bit longer and the nights will get shorter until we reach the Summer Solstice, when the longest day of the year occurs. While the nights will be shorter, astronomically they are just as interesting as the rest.
In the 92 days that the flower season lasts, stargazers will be able to observe a spectacular sky in which the Andromeda constellation reigns, with its belt and large nebula. It is also the best time of year to observe the Pleiades or “Seven Sisters”, a cluster of stars that is easily recognizable to the naked eye.
We will also be able to see planets. Mars will be visible and very bright at night during the first part of spring and will start to be visible only in the evening sky after the middle of April. Saturn, the great lord of the rings, will begin to be visible at the end of the night during the first part of spring, but will have to wait until May to enjoy its majesty during the entire night. It will be closest to the Earth on May 10, and its rings are at an inclination that will delight stargazers. The planet that we will see over our heads during the entire spring is Jupiter. Its bands and clouds and moons will be visible with a telescope at the start of the night. If want to observe a brighter planet, Venus, we will have to wait until a few hours before daybreak.
This spring we will also be able to see a lunar eclipse. Once more the Earth’s shadow will be projected over our satellite, giving it a reddish image that is different every year. On April 15 we will be able to enjoy an eclipse of the Moon. This astronomical phenomenon will begin in the Canary Islands at 6.58 h in the morning and will reach its maximum point at 8.45 h in the morning.
And if you like meteor showers, you should write down this date: April 22. On that night you will be able to see the meteor shower known as the April Lyrids (associated with the Thatcher Comet). With good weather conditions you will be able to see between 10 and 15 meteors an hour. Not a big number, but enough to enjoy a different kind of night.