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NASA expert talks about upcoming space events

Explaining the lunar eclipse, the Lyrid meteor shower, and looking ahead to the 2024 solar eclipse
Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 8:06 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 21, 2022 at 8:09 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - There’s rarely ever a lull in things to see in the night sky. From the International Space Station, to the latest meteor showers, to planets that look like stars. Tony Rice, Ambassador at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, stopped by 7@four to discuss several events happening in the night sky in the coming weeks. Here are a few things to look out for.

Four planets are visible in the early morning sky through the end of April.
Four planets are visible in the early morning sky through the end of April.(WDBJ7)

4 PLANETS VISIBLE

For those early-risers, there’s a special treat to see 45 minutes before sunrise through the end of April. Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Saturn will be visible just before sunrise in the southeastern sky. No binoculars needed, although, Mars will be quite faint. All will be low on the horizon, so seeing them from extremely deep valley locations will require being patient until they are far enough above the horizon just before sunrise.

DATESTIMEVISIBLEQUALITY
Through the end of AprilApprox: 5:00 AM until SunriseJupiter, Venus, Mars, SaturnEasy for all observers. Depends on cloud conditions.

TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE - MAY 15-16

In May, we’re treated to another Total Lunar Eclipse. This is when the moon entirely enters the Earth’s shadow, and depending on what’s in the atmosphere at the time, the moon can have an orange tint. A total lunar eclipse is completely safe to view and it’s not extremely late at night either, entering totality just after midnight on May 16th.

Here’s a look at the times below. Again, this should be a great viewing as long as the weather cooperates.

The moon will enter the Earth's shadow in the total lunar eclipse Sunday evening, May 15th.
The moon will enter the Earth's shadow in the total lunar eclipse Sunday evening, May 15th.(WDBJ7)

Be sure to visit our Astronomy section for updated night sky happenings and Space Station viewing times.

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