Constellations For April: Here’s What Is Visible and Bright

No matter whether you’re an amateur astronomer, student, or person with a curious mind, you may be wondering which constellations may be visible and bright come April?

Continue reading to discover more about which constellations are visible in April, how these constellations may appear, their myths, locations and more.

Constellations For April: Summary

The top six constellations best visible in April are Antlia, Chamaeleon, Hydra, Leo, Leo Minor, and Ursa Major. Leo, Ursa Major and Leo Minor are located in the northern celestial hemisphere, whereas Antlia, Hydra and Chamaeleon are located in the southern celestial hemisphere. April is also the greatest time of year to study a number of notable galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters in these constellations.

Antlia the Air Pump

Antlia, the air pump, is a constellation in the southern hemisphere of the sky.

However, from January through March, it may be observed at latitudes between 45 and -90 degrees.

Antlia is a tiny constellation with a 239-square-degree size and is considered the 62nd largest of the 88 constellations visible in the night sky. 

Antlia is a relatively vacant part of the sky with only a few weak stars.

To imagine an air pump in this location, you’ll need a lot of creativity.

Antlia also has no mythology attached to it since the ancient Greeks couldn’t see it because it was too far south and dim.

On the other hand, Antlia is one of the 14 constellations designated in the 18th century by French astronomer Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille to fill in gaps in the southern hemisphere.

The Chamaeleon

The Chamaeleon is a southern hemisphere constellation that can only be viewed from latitudes south of 0 degrees.

A circumpolar constellation, the Chamaeleon, can be seen all night long as it rotates around the south celestial pole.

However, only those with strong imaginations can conjure a lizard from the faint stars of this constellation.

The Chameleon constellation has no legend since it is located so far south that it was not seen by the ancient Greeks or Romans.

The constellation does, however, resemble a chameleon, a type of reptile that can change colours, in general.

Hydra the Sea Serpent

The sea snake constellation Hydra is best visible from the southern hemisphere, but it may also be seen from the north between January and May.

It may be seen in latitudes ranging from 54 to -83 degrees. 

With an area of 1,303 square degrees, it is the most prominent constellation in the night sky.

With a length of almost 100 degrees, it is also one of the most extended constellations.

Hydra is bordered on the South by Libra and Centaurus and on the north by Cancer.

Alphard is considered the brightest star in the Hydra constellation.

Alphard is a 50-times-the-size-of-the-Sun orange massive star located roughly 177 light-years from Earth.

Leo the Lion

The constellation of the Lion Leo may be seen in the northern hemisphere during the spring months in latitudes ranging from 90 to -65 degrees.

Leo is the 12th biggest constellation in the night sky, with a total area of 947 square degrees.

Leo is one of the zodiac’s thirteen constellations, which means it is located along the route taken by the Sun during the year.

Its many brilliant stars and unusual form make it easy to spot in the night sky.

Regulus is the brightest star in Leo, as well as the brightest star in the entire constellation.

Regulus, the ancient sky defender, is also the 22nd brightest star in the sky, with a visual magnitude of 1.36.

Leo Minor

From January through March, Leo Minor is completely visible at latitudes north of -48 degrees, however, Leo Minor is best seen during the month of April.

Leo Minor is a tiny constellation in the night sky, occupying just 232 square degrees of sky and ranked 64th in size out of 88.

Leo Minor is located between the more visible and well-known Ursa Major to the north and Leo to the South.

Considering Leo Minor is a very recent constellation formed from a dark part of the sky, there are no tales linked with it.

Since the stars in this area were once thought to be part of the constellation Leo, ancient astronomers thought the region was undefined with no discernible patterns. 

In his star atlas in 1687, the Polish astronomer Johannes Hevelius was the first to portray Leo Minor as a distinct constellation.

Ursa Major

In the northern hemisphere, the Ursa Major constellation is visible all year.

It is a major constellation, having an extent of 1,280 square degrees, ranking third in the night sky. Ursa Major is a well-known constellation that contains the Big Dipper asterism.

This gleaming star cluster is one of the most easily recognized sights in the sky, especially in light-polluted towns.

Under dark skies, the bear’s silhouette may be seen clearly, with the dipper’s handle forming the bear’s tail.

The Underground Railroad used the Big Dipper during the Civil War.

Enslaved people fleeing the South were told to follow the “drinking gourd” to a better life.

This is due to the Big Dipper’s circumpolar nature, which means it can be seen in the northern sky all night long. 

Since most slaves couldn’t read or write, the drinking gourd’s message was passed down through song.

Ursa Major is one of Ptolemy’s 48 constellations, which he catalogued in the second century.

In Latin, its name means “big bear.”

Ursa Major is also one of the night sky’s oldest constellations, going back over 13,000 years.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the top six constellations best observed in April are Antlia, Chamaeleon, Hydra, Leo, Leo Minor, and Ursa Major.

Ursa Major, Leo, and Leo Minor dominate the northern celestial hemisphere, while Hydra, Antlia, and Chamaeleon dominate the southern hemisphere.

Whether you’re an amateur astronomer, a student, or just someone with a curious mind, don’t miss your chance to see constellations you would otherwise miss for the rest of the year this April.

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