Just after the sun dips below the horizon, between about 7:45 and 8:15 PM, the fading twilight will afford a last fleeting glimpse of the planet Mercury, along the horizon just north of west. Mercury’s proximity to the sun means that it’s rarely visible, being below the horizon at night, or drowned by the light of the sun when the sun is above the horizon.

For reasons that scientists don’t yet understand, the aurora borealis, or “northern lights” are seen more frequently in April. The Sun, unusually quiet over the past few years, now shows a significant increase in sunspots and other solar activity, improving our chances of seeing some northern lights over the next few years.

This evening the planet Jupiter will become visible, due west near 8 o’clock, about one quarter of the way above the horizon, with the twilight ebbing from the skies. Our largest planet gradually settles lower into the west and northwest, setting just north of west, at around 9:30.