Astronomical Highlights for the week



  • Mon May 03 15:50:02: last quarter moon
  • Tonight’s full moon is also a supermoon by all popular definitions as is May 26th’s. The moon will not look pink, but you knew that.
  • On Wed, the Moon will be at aphelion or the furthest it will be from the Sun this year.
  • June 25th’s full moon is a supermoon by only 2 of the 5 definitions. It may not come up on your radar because one of the dissenting definitions is The gory details of these definitions, times of the full moon and lunar perigee and Moon-Earth distances are available here.
  • Look for Mercury to begin appearing low on the WNW horizon as evening twilight ends this week.

Upcoming Launches

·  Tue, Apr 27 10:50 PM -03 (01:50 UTC) Arianespace plans the launch of Pléiades-Neo 3 from the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana

·  Wed, Apr 28 12:05 AM EDT (04:05 UTC) SpaceX plans the launch of Starlink-25 from the Cape Canaveral SFS in Florida

·  Thu, Apr 29 11:18 AM +08 (03:18 UTC) China plans the launch of Tianhe-1 from pad TBD at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Inner Mongolia

On This Day

  • April 18, 2014: NASA’s LADEE missions ended with an (intentional) crash into the Moon
  • April 20, 1972: Apollo 16 lands on Moon
  • April 24, 1970: China becomes fifth nation to launch its own satellite

In case you missed it

  • The SLS Core Booster made its way down the Pearl River from the Stennis Space Center, across the Gulf of Mexico and around the tip of Florida on a 900-mile trip to the Kennedy Space Center over the weekend. …read more

The Moon may look juuuust a bit bigger when it rises this evening near sunset. Because it turns full near lunar perigee or the closest point in the Moon’s orbit to Earth, its known as a supermoon.

Satellite Passes

This information is best used to identify passes worth sharing or skipping. Those nearest overhead are closest, brightest, and longest. Check dates and times for each pass before sharing.

International Space Station (ISS)

  • exceptional pass exits Earth’s shadow 20° above the horizon Tue 2021-04-27 05:12:50 EDT from the SW (231°) reaches 88°, lasts 5 minutes
  • fair pass exits Earth’s shadow 15° above the horizon Thu 2021-04-29 05:14:41 EDT from the W (269°) reaches 35°, lasts 5 minutes
  • below trees pass begins Sat 2021-05-01 05:16:52 EDT from the WNW (292°) reaches 19°, lasts 5 minutes
  • below trees pass begins Mon 2021-05-03 05:19:58 EDT from the NW (318°) reaches 14°, lasts 3 minutes
  • below trees pass begins Wed 2021-05-05 05:22:44 EDT from the NNW (334°) reaches 13°, lasts 3 minutes

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