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Four planets will align this April, here's how to see them

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Apr 02, 2024 4:48 pm

Keep your eyes on the sky, folks, as there will be a special astronomical event happening this April.

According to the Astronomical Diary published by the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration for this month, there will be a planetary alignment occurring on the morning of April 4.

It will feature a total of four planets, namely, Venus, Saturn, Mars, and Neptune. While the first three can be seen with the naked eye, PAGASA advised that a "modest telescope or high-powered binoculars" is required in order to see Neptune.

According to the weather bureau, a planetary alignment is described as a "phenomenon when multiple planets gather closely on one side of the Sun at the same time. This provides a stunning celestial display that can be observed without the need for special astronomical equipment."

Aside from this, April is also the perfect month to observe the northern constellations Ursa Major, Leo, and Leo Minor as well as constellations in the southern hemisphere such as Hydra, Sextans, Crater, and Antlia.

They can be seen at 9:00 pm on April 15.

The month has a fitting finish with not just one, but two meteor showers. The first one, the Lyrid Meteor Shower, will be visible from April 14 to 30 but will have a peak of activity on April 22.

It will be visible once the constellation Hercules, the point in the sky from which the meteor shower appears to originate, rises at around 9:15 pm each night and remains active until about 5:13 am the following day. PAGASA stated that the radiant is highest in the sky at around 4:00 am.

Another meteor shower that can be observed in April is called the π-Puppids, which will be active from April 15 to 28, but will have peak activity on April 23. You can see this meteor shower after sunset until its radiant sinks towards the horizon at around 10:11 pm.

The shower is expected to peak at around 08:00 pm, so PAGASA recommended that the best display might be seen before the radiant sets on April 23.

If you don't have any specialized equipment such as binoculars or telescopes, fret not as the bureau assured that meteor showers can still be seen with the unaided eye. However, a dark observing spot far from city lights and under clear, moonless skies is ideal to maximize your viewing experience.