Mercury is often called "elusive," but by the end of this week it is plain and obvious as it passes south (lower left) of the Pleiades. See the sky scene above.
Venus is lost in the glare of the Sun
Mars (magnitude +1.2, in Gemini) shines high in the west during evening. It forms a curved line with Pollux and Castor to its upper right or right. Watch as the line becomes less curved every day. It straightens out completely on May 4th.
Compare Mars's color to that of Pollux, which is just about equally bright. Pollux is an orange giant of spectral type K0 III. To me, the tint of Mars looks slightly deeper.
In a telescope Mars is a disappointing 5.9 arcseconds wide — a very tiny gibbous blob.
Saturn (magnitude +0.5, in Leo) glows very high in the south to southwest during evening, just 2¼° from fainter Regulus (magnitude +1.4). Saturn and Regulus will remain nearly this close together for a month to come.
Telescope users: can you see the new white storm on Saturn? How big a telescope will do it? See the picture caption to predict when the white spot will be turned into view (which happens at least twice a day).
There's more to Saturn than you may realize! See our Saturn observing guide in the April Sky & Telescope, page 66. Saturn's rings now appear open by 10°, our best view of them until December 2010.
Uranus and Neptune are low in the southeast before dawn.
Pluto (magnitude 14.0, in northwestern Sagittarius) is highest in the south before dawn's first light.
All descriptions that relate to your horizon or zenith — including the words up, down, right, and left — are written for the world's mid-northern latitudes. Descriptions that also depend on longitude (mainly Moon positions) are for North America. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) equals Universal Time (UT, UTC, or GMT) minus 4 hours.
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