The Spring Triangle

The last quarter moon is on April 4 and the new moon is on April 12, so this is a good time to look at the night sky. The moon will rise late and be visible in the morning and during the day. You will be able to see it joining up with Saturn and Jupiter in the morning.

Saturn rises about ½ hour before Jupiter. They're both fairly low in the SE, but still visible. I look at them every morning. On April 6 the moon will be just below Saturn, and on April 7, it will be just below Jupiter. So, when you see the moon on these days, you'll know that you're looking at the planets.

When you look at the sky in the evening, you will see that the Milky Way is getting very low. It still runs from the North to South, but it will continue to get lower this month. The Orion constellation is also getting very low in the SW, but other constellations are getting high in the sky.

The Spring Triangle is becoming visible. It has the 3 brightest stars in our spring sky, and they're all a part of 3 different constellations. It's a huge 60 degrees long and 30 degrees wide which is the height. It covers most of the SE sky in early spring, and the SW sky in late spring.

Arcturus is the brightest star in the cone shape constellation Bootes the Bear Driver. Spica shows you the head of the constellation Virgo the Maiden. Regulus shows you the heart of Leo the Lion. When you look at it, Arcturus is the upper left, Spica is lower left, and Regulus is on the right. They make up the Spring Triangle.

Regulus is the first star to rise in the Spring Triangle, and the last to set. It shines blue white in the eastern sky. Arcturus is the next one to pop up above the eastern horizon with the constellation Bootes followed closely by Spica in Virgo. Arcturus is farther to the left closer to the NE, and Spica will be over to the SE.

This giant triangle covers most of the south eastern sky. As spring breaks the distance from Regulus to Spica is 54 degrees. Spica and Arcturus are the closest at 33 degrees. In May and June, it will raise higher overhead becoming highly visible. So now that the moon is very dim, this is a good time to go out and find it.


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