On the first Friday of every month we post skywatching notes for the homeschool month ahead. Here’s the monthly northern hemisphere review for April 2018, courtesy of the Hubble Space Telescope’s website:
The regular sky summary from Space.com provides many more details and is perfect for every serious young astronomy student:
The best stargazing nights in April will be toward the middle of the month—the moon will be new (and the sky darkest) on 15 April. As always, you can track the moon’s phases at the excellent timeanddate.com website (timeanddate.com/moon/phases).
Can your students recognize the big dipper (upside down at this season) and the two pointer stars that point to Polaris, the north star? Why not make that this month’s homeschool astronomy lesson!
❡ Watchers of the skies: Teaching your students to recognize the constellations is one of the simplest and most enduring gifts you can give them. The planisphere on the front of your River Houses star atlas (riverhouses.org/books) will let you dial up the northern hemisphere sky for any night of the year, and the descriptions and maps of each constellation will point out the highlights. Find a dark-sky spot near you this month and spend some quality homeschool time beneath the starry vault.
What astronomical observations have you made in your homeschool lately?