A total eclipse of the sun takes places on April 8, with ideal conditions for North America.

The sun will completely disappear behind the moon along a track that stretches from Mexico, through the USA and on to eastern Canada and includes several major cities such as Dallas and Montreal.

Although it will not be visible from here in the UK, there is bound to be plenty of media coverage from the USA.

The next solar eclipse visible from the UK will be in March 2025 when about half of the sun will disappear behind the moon in a partial eclipse.

Daylight expands rapidly through the month and twilights lingers into the evenings. By mid-month the sun sets after 8pm BST.

Jupiter is now moving into that evening twilight but on the 10th has a fine pairing with a very young moon which will be a thin crescent just six per cent illuminated.

The best time to look will be from about 8.45pm BST, looking low and due west.

All the other bright planets are close to the sun or very low in morning twilight and so not readily visible this month.

Full moon is on the night of 23rd/24th and now much lower in the sky than the recent winter full moons.

That date for full moon also means that unfortunately the best meteor shower of the month, the Lyrids, will be largely lost to moonlight as they peak on the night of 22nd/23rd, though its possible some brighter meteors might still be seen.

The first half of the month offers the darkest skies for star-gazing. At 10pm BST, the constellation of Leo is high in the south.

Picking out the shape of a lion from its origin in Greek mythology is a bit of a stretch, but Leo does have a recognisable shape, with a ‘backwards question mark’ of stars on its right-hand side, leading down to the brightest star in the constellation, which is Regulus (see map).

Located about 77 light years from our Solar System, Regulus is much larger than our sun, and hotter.

The star has a bluish tint and if we were on a planet orbiting Regulus, it would appear in the sky as not round, but egg-shaped. This is due to its very rapid rotation.