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Stargazer: This month’s planets

29 Mar 2018, 15:56 UTC
Stargazer: This month’s planets
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VENUS (20:00 BST on 1 Apri)l

Constellation: Aries moving into Taurus
Magnitude: -3.9
Venus will return to the sky in April as a beautiful “Evening Star,” bright enough to dominate the sky after sunset and draw the eye away from everything else. Not only that, but it will be in a part of the sky rich with star clusters, and will have a spectacular close encounter with the young Moon mid-month.
At the start of April Venus will be relatively low in the west after sunset, but with each day that passes it will climb a little further away from the Sun, improving its visibility until it is setting more than three hours after the Sun. To see Venus at its best you’ll want to be somewhere with a clear view to the west, as your viewing won’t be cut short by the planet disappearing behind trees, a hill or buildings. It will be immediately obvious to the naked eye, but if you have a telescope it will show you Venus as a bright, gibbous disc.
On 17 April, a beautiful, crescent Moon will be shining below and to the left of Venus. By the next evening the ...

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