The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Print Edition
Letter to the editor submissions
Have a strong opinion about something happening on campus or in Fort Collins? Want to respond to an article written on The Collegian? Write a Letter to the Editor by following the guidelines here.
Follow Us on Twitter
Lando Norris in Miami. Accident win or the birth of a new star?
May 17, 2024

  On May 5, 2024, an essential event for Formula 1 occurred in Miami. One of the favorites of the world public, the Briton Lando...

Written in the Stars: April astronomy calendar

graphic illustration of a monthly calendar for the column "written in the stars"
(Graphic illustration by Charlie Dillon | The Collegian)

Stargazing can be a new hobby to explore this spring as the evenings begin to warm up. 

Colorado State University’s Emily Hardegree-Ullman, assistant professor in the Colorado State University physics department and director of the on-campus Madison-Macdonald Observatory, offers some insight to this month’s celestial calendar.


Check out last month’s Written in the Stars for Fort Collins-specific beginner stargazing suggestions and to review some of the springtime constellations that are still visible. 


According to, the moon will align with three different planets on the evenings of April 6, 7 and 17. The planets will be visible to the naked eye and in line with the moon. This month, Saturn will align with the moon on April 6, Jupiter on April 7 and Mars on April 17. 

April 21-22, Lyrid meteor shower

Following the “meteor drought” occurring from January to April, the Lyrid meteor shower will be best visible from the Northern Hemisphere on the nights of April 21 and 22 and into the morning of April 23, Hardegree-Ullman said.

“They are going to be a little bit tricky (to see) because the moon will be pretty bright,” Hardegree-Ullman said. She said the best time to spot them will be “after the moon sets, in the wee hours after 4:30 in the morning.” Hardegree-Ullman said the Lyrids would be most visible in the early mornings of April 22 and 23. 

“The Lyrids are going to be appearing to come from the direction of (the constellation) Lyra,” Hardegree-Ullman said. She said stargazers can look toward the bright star, Vega, part of the constellation Lyra, in the east to try and spot the meteor shower. 

April 27, super pink moon

This month’s full moon will appear up to 10% bigger than its smallest state, making it a supermoon, according to Hardegree-Ullman. April’s full moon is always called the pink moon, named for some of the earliest flowers to bloom in spring. Hardegree-Ullman said the supermoon’s size may not be especially apparent, but it will be noticeably brighter than usual. 


Students use this website to track International Space Station passes over a variety of locations. Hardegree-Ullman said that in Fort Collins, “On April 2, 4 and 5, the ISS will be visible for multiple minutes and will be very bright.”  


According to Hardegree-Ullman, stargazers can look for the red giant Arcturus in the constellation Boötes.

“Arc to Arcturus; so if you find the Big Dipper handle, and follow it to a bright red star, you’ve found it,” she said. 


Hardegree-Ullman also said to look for the constellation Gemini and its colorful stars, Castor and Pollux. Cancer, a faint constellation, will also be visible, and its Beehive Cluster can be viewed with either binoculars or a telescope, according to Hardegree-Ullman. 

Happy stargazing, Rams!

Noelle Mason can be reached at or on Twitter @noellemaso.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

When commenting on The Collegian’s website, please be respectful of others and their viewpoints. The Collegian reviews all comments and reserves the right to reject comments from the website. Comments including any of the following will not be accepted. 1. No language attacking a protected group, including slurs or other profane language directed at a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, physical or mental disability, ethnicity or nationality. 2. No factually inaccurate information, including misleading statements or incorrect data. 3. No abusive language or harassment of Collegian writers, editors or other commenters. 4. No threatening language that includes but is not limited to language inciting violence against an individual or group of people. 5. No links.
All The Rocky Mountain Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *