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Night Sky Wonders: April

2 Apr 2013, 21:24 UTC
Night Sky Wonders: April
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If you find yourself in the great outdoors any evening during April and it’s a cloudless night, turning your eyes towards the heavens could be an unusually interesting way for you to spend a few minutes.
Looking southeast: the night sky at 10pm April 15th. Click to enlarge.(Image credit: Stellarium/Nick Parke)

If we look at star charts we can see the night sky divided up into degrees with grid lines. A simple method for locating celestial objects and measuring distances across the heavens for a stargazer of any age is to stretch your arm out in front of your face towards your chosen area of sky. Either the palm or back of your hand should be slightly visible as it continues the sloping angle of your arm away from your face. If your information tells you that a celestial object lies approximately 5 degrees away from another marker, turn your palm inwards with your first three fingers together pointing towards the sky and your little finger pulled in. The breadth you can see across the tips of these 3 fingers will give you an approximation of 5 degrees on the night sky’s celestial sphere. So to commence your ...

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