April 2013 Night Photography Events Calendar

 Each month I post a monthly night photography events calendar on the first day of the month. Events listed on the calendar are suitable for wide-field and moderate-telephoto astrophotography, as well as for general night photography. The calendar does not include events or subjects that are more suited to telescopes or extreme telephoto lenses. Unless otherwise stated, all events occur in the United States at mid-latitudes. Most of the events also occur at other locations, although some of them may require correction for latitude and longitude.

If you sign up for my free Night Photography News eNewsletter, you’ll receive each calendar two weeks early, on the 15th of the preceeding month. This will give you more time to plan your night shooting.

Times are Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4). 

All month April is Global Astronomy Month.
All month Look for Jupiter in the western sky at dusk. It starts the month about halfway up in the sky and drops lower every evening. It is the brightest object in the sky other than the moon.
All month Saturn rises in the southeastern sky about 30 minutes after sunset at the beginning of the month and around sunset toward month’s end.
1 To kick off Global Astronomy Month, the astronomers aboard the International Space Station will turn on all of the station’s lights for the entire 24-hour period on this day. This includes the exterior flood lights that are used to guide incoming spaceships. With all of the lights turned on, the station’s brightness is expected to be about twice that of the full moon, which will make the overall brightness of the night approximately equal to that of a dark cloudy day. This will create terrific night photo opportunities, where you can use the light from the ISS to illuminate your subjects. You’ll be able to see the ISS in the daytime, too, but of course you won’t be doing night photography then.       
1-11 Last good period  until autumn for viewing for the zodiacal light. See this blog post for more info.
3 Third quarter moon at 12:37am.
6 A thick crescent moon shines in the dawn twilight sky to the east.
7 The crescent moon shines in the dawn twilight sky to the east.
8 A thin crescent moon lies very low on the horizon in the dawn twilight sky to the east.
9 A very thin crescent moon lies very low on the horizon in the dawn twilight sky toward the east.
10 New moon at 5:36am.  Don’t forget, the best time to shoot the stars (either as pinpoints or star trails) is when there is no light pollution from the moon.
11 A very thin crescent moon shines very low on the horizon in the dusk twilight sky to the west.
12 The thin crescent moon shines low on the horizon in the dusk twilight sky looking west.
13 The crescent moon shines in the dusk twilight sky looking west. Jupiter lies close above the moon.
14 A thick crescent moon shines  in the dusk twilight sky looking west. Jupiter lies very close to the moon on the right.
18 First quarter moon at 8:32am.
18-19 Northeast Astro Imaging Conference in Suffern, NY.
20 Astronomy Day.
22 The Lyrid Meteor Shower peaks this morning. The Lyrids usually produce about 10 to 25 meteors per hour, but a bright gibbous moon will interfere with visibility. The moon sets at 4:35am and astronomical twilight begins at 5:17am. Your best meteor viewing will be within this window.
25 Full moon at 3:58pm.  Shortly after the moon rises in the evening, Saturn shines very close on the upper left. Don’t forget, in addition to including the full moon as a complement to a landscape or urban scene, you can use the light from the full (or nearly full) moon to illuminate your scene.
25 A partial lunar eclipse is visible in the Eastern Hemisphere. None of the eclipse will be visible from North America. The eclipse begins at 19:54 UT, reaches mid eclipse at 20:07 UT, and ends at 22:11 UT. The eclipse will be very faint and difficult to see with the unaided eye. 

 

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