Who will be the first to spot the April New Moon with naked eyes after sunset? The Dark Moon will be in geocentric longitudinal conjunction with the Sun on 2011 APR 03 at 14:32 UT (09:32 CDT).
We are in the period of the year surrounding the vernal equinox which is ideal for New Moon spotters north of the tropics. The Moon being well north of the ecliptic is also helpful, but being near apogee hurts a bit. North Americans, especially those on the West Coast, may want to give it a shot on April 3, but it is a real long shot. Everyone should have much better luck on April 4. For many it will appear as the Lunar Boat, i.e. a crescent positioned like a “U” as though it were a floating canoe.
I’ve created three graphics previewing the western sky as viewed after sunset from Chicagoland on April 3, 4 & 5. They should well serve most North American observers. They can be seen by clicking: http://www.curtrenz.com/moon
Also on my Moon webpage is a panorama including each Diana’s Bow in 2011. That’s a waxing crescent Moon about 10% illuminated and aged about three days. The name is a reference to the archery equipment of the ancient Roman goddess of the Moon and hunting. The graphic nicely illustrates how we’re now at a good time of the year for viewing a waxing crescent Moon.
Photos and descriptions of the April New Moon would be welcome additions to this thread. Please include the date, time, time zone and location. Good Luck!
Below is the photo I took of the Moon from Arlington Heights, Illinois when it was aged 21:47 hrs on 2007 MAR 19 at 19:30 CDT, which was 27 minutes after sunset and 40 minutes before moonset.