Easter weekend lunar eclipse

By Mario Carr

This year, the Easter Bunny is bringing an astronomical treat. Make sure you’re up early on Saturday April 4 to see the Partial Lunar Eclipse in the predawn sky.

It’ called a Partial Lunar Eclipse because from our vantage point, the Moon sets at sunrise just before the eclipse reaches Totality at 8:06 a.m. That’s when the Moon moves within the darkest portion of the Earth’s shadow known as the Umbra.

During Totality, the Moon will be in the Umbra shadow for four minutes and 31 seconds and can only be seen from western Canada. We will only see the eclipse when the moon passes within Earth’s lighter shadow, known as the Penumbra. The next Lunar Eclipse will occur on Sept. 27.

Here are April stargazer events. Most are listed in the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers calendar.

Planet watching

Venus is bright and high in the western evening sky. Mars is very low in the western evening twilight sky. Jupiter can be seen in the mid-evening, while Saturn rises late evening. Neptune can be seen in the eastern dawn sky.

April 8 – The Moon will be close to Saturn in the morning sky.

April 10-13 – Venus is close to the Pleiades star cluster.

April 10 – Hamilton Amateur Astronomers meeting 7:30-9:30 p.m., Spectator Building, 44 Frid St., Hamilton. Free admission, door prizes and telescope give-away. Everyone is welcome. An optional food bank donation of non-perishable goods would be appreciated.

April 17 — Spring Scope Clinic 7:30-9:30 p.m., Spectator Building, 44 Frid St., Hamilton. Free admission and everyone welcome.

April 19 – The Moon is near Mars and Mercury in the evening sky.

April 21 — The Moon is close to Venus in the evening sky.

April 22 – Mercury is close to Mars in the evening sky. The Lyrid Meteor Shower also peaks under a moonless sky and can be seen for the next three nights. It’s best seen from a dark location away from city lights.

April 25 – Astronomy Day Public Stargazing Nigh at Bayfront Park, Harbour Front Dr at Bay St N, Hamilton, 8 p.m. – 11 p.m.

April 25-26 –The Moon is close to Jupiter in the evening sky.

For more information, see the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers website at http://www.amateurastronomy.org or call (905) 627-4323. The club offers a basic astronomy course for members.

Mario Carr is the club’s director of publicity and can be reached at mariocarr@cogeco.ca.

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About Mario Carr

Mario Carr has a Physics degree from McMaster University and hosts this blog. He is the director of public education for the Hamilton Amateur Astronomers and has helped to raise the profile of the group. He writes an astronomy column and appears on CHCH-TV to talk about the night sky. Mario is the founder of the Carr Marketing Group in Burlington, Ontario and can help with your marketing, communications, publicity and public relations needs. He can be reached at www.carrmarketinggroup.com or mariocarr@cogeco.ca.
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