April 2015 Night Sky for Tanzania

April 2015 Night Sky for Tanzania

Venus is extremely bright, noticeable immediately from sunset about 30 degrees above the west horizon.  It will continue to rise higher and reach maximum of 40 degree elevation at sunset in mid-June and after that it will come down again and disappear below the west horizon by the beginning of August.

Jupiter is also very bright high in the sky and is slowly shifting westwards day by day and by 1st July will meet up with Venus for a very close encounter in the sky - a spectacle worth seeing.  Especially on 18th July a thin crescent Moon will join them to produce a remarkable sight not to miss.

Saturn is also poised to come into the evening skies by the middle of next month (i.e. mid-May).  Its sharp shine can be confused with stars but remember that stars twinkle while planet's light is steady.

Among the constellations, the big horizontal rectangle of Orion with its three stars middle stars lined up close together is seen in the west soon after sunset and is worth catching its view.

The Southern Cross, pointing south and the Big Dipper pointing north are also clearly visible for you to find your directions.

In city skies it can be difficult to make out overhead the shape of Leo (the lion) constellation but with some concentration and clear skies you can make it.  In rural skies with no light pollution, stars are clearly visible and numerous fainter stars become visible and pose their own challenge to identifying the constellations shown. 

Happy viewing.