"Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote..." April is the month when heading out at night gets a little less chilly and a lot more fun. So it's the perfect month, as Geoffrey Chaucer wrote, to go on pilgrimages. Join S&T contributing editor Emily Lakdawalla as she guides us through the journey of the Dawn spacecraft to the largest asteroid, Ceres. Then follow the historical footprints of William and Caroline Herschel and relive their legendary night of discovery: on April 11, 1785, exactly 230 years ago, they recorded 74 new galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters. Then take that history and science with you (and the magazine too!) as you head outdoors. April's evenings feature five bright planets and deep-sky jewels aplenty, perfect for after-dinner expeditions through the cosmos.
Dawn Arrives at Ceres
NASA's spacecraft enters into orbit around the largest asteroid in the main belt.
By Emily Lakdawalla
Take a virtual and interactive tour of the universe.
By Alyssa Goodman & Curtis Wong
William Herschel's Extraordinary Night of Discovery
Recreating the legendary sweep of April 11, 1975.
By Mark Bratton
Astronomy Aboard SOFIA
After two decades of trial and tinkering, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is finally flying high.
By J. Kelly Beatty
Backyard DSLR Imaging
Get the most out of your deep-sky imaging from any location with these helpful tips.
By Richard Jakiel
Beyond the Printed Page
The Herschel Sprint by JR
Experience the Herschels' "Night of Discovery" for yourself.
How to Use the WorldWide Telescope by Monica Young
Learn how this interactive software can be used to research and educate.
Follow the Dawn Spacecraft
Keep up to date on Dawn's visit to Ceres by following posts from chief engineer Marc Raymond.
Lunar Librations by Sean Walker
Librations and other lunar data for April 2015.
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
The Pilgrim's Way
Venus and Jupiter lead us on a journey through spring skies.
By Fred Schaaf
A Barely Total Lunar Eclipse
On the morning of April 4th, the Moon skims just inside Earth's umbra.
By Alan MacRobert
Spring's Hit Parade
A blood-red gem and a misty bird of prey top the charts.
By Sue French
Table of Contents
See what else April's issue has to offer.