Shooting stars and other planet eclipses are among the best sky shows this month. I wish you a clear sky!
An Eta Aquarid meteor near the Grand Canyon in 2016 that looks like it is erupting on trees along the Arizona Road.
Photo of Mike Cavaroc, Alamy
While the moon shows the way to the brightest worlds in our solar system, dazzling shooting stars launched a moon that offers great sky viewing possibilities. As the months of Jupiter pass behind the huge planet, backyard telescope users will also see surprises.
Then dust your binoculars and mark the days on the May calendar!
Regulus and the Moon – May 3
Look for the bulging Moon that passes very close to the lion, the brightest member of the Leo star cluster. You can see the magnificent blue-and-white Regulus star less than a degree from the Moon. By blocking the glow of the Moon with your thumb, andiron, see if you can find the prominent star pattern of the opposite question mark that forms the head of the cosmic cat.
While most of the Earth sees only two celestial objects are in close contact, those watching from Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand will be able to watch Regulus disappear behind the Moon for a short time. This is known as the Moon auscultation. You can look at this table prepared by the International Occupational Timing Association (IOTA) for specific watch hours for cities around the world.
Eta Aquarid’s Summit – May 5
As Eta Aquarid meteor shower accelerates, the shooting stars will honor the sky all week. The best viewing time will last from the night of May 5 until the next morning. Astronomers expect 50 meteors per hour to leave traces in the northeast of the sky, starting at 22:00 local time.
For the best viewing, go out after the moon sets and look to the water-bearing Aquarius star cluster in the east. Meteors will emerge from this part of the sky, radiating. You can see the most falling star in the dark skies, away from the city lights. But you can even capture brighter meteors from a suburban backyard, including a few fireballs.
The right reason for the reputation of this meteor shower is that it was composed of the remaining pieces from the comet of Halley, who last passed the Earth in 1986. The famous comet will not come back until 2062, but every year we can see that the pieces of sand-sized particles left by this ice-cold visitor disappear on our heads.
Jupiter poses with the Moon – May 7
On May 7, the largest planet of the solar system will appear to be approaching the Earth’s only satellite. Ritual; The fact that it appears less than two degrees from the bright, cream-colored Jupiter makes it dramatic for the two to rise from the southeast horizon as the darkness collapses.
Jupiter Eclipses – May 11
Grab your backyard telescopes and watch the movement of Jupiter’s biggest moon, Ganymede, through the shadow of the gas giant. While this Jupiter eclipse will become visible in Ganymede, it will end at 22:55 Eastern time. Then, at 23:45 pm eastern standard time, watch the neighboring glacial moon Europa shift behind Jupiter.
Saturn is visiting the Moon – May 13
Later this evening, the thinning bulging Moon will serve as a useful guide for sky viewers to see the ringed miracle Saturn. Night owls can watch this heavenly couple rise from the southeast of the sky just before midnight at local time. The two will settle in the southwest at sunrise and disappear in the rapidly illuminated morning sky.
Even the smallest telescope, whose purpose is to see Saturn, shows a few of the gas giant’s famous circles, including Titan and Rhea, one of its brightest moons. The best for viewers looking with the naked eye is on the way: after about a month, Saturn will become the largest and brightest year of the year it will appear from Earth.
The best time to watch Mercury – May 17
Mercury will be in a good location to be seen, especially for viewers in the southern hemisphere, when it reaches the longest western stretch visible from Earth – or at the farthest distance from the Sun.
You can see that this planet, like a faint star, appeared before a full sunrise, at an average of 10 degrees, or roughly on the fist-width of the south-east horizon.
Venus meets the Moon – May 22
Extra-bright Venus, born two hours before the Sun; is now dominating the eastern sky in the early hours. The planet, the sister of the Earth, reached its highest brightness at the end of last month. But it still offers an incredible view to viewers who watch with the naked eye. Shrinking on May 22, the crescent will park next to Venus, creating a chance to take a fascinating photo.
Also, with a small telescope for the whole month, it can be remarkable to follow Venus and watch her look change. At the beginning of May, the planet will look like a miniature crescent. At the end of the month, it will look like a half-lit sphere.
Regulus and the Moon – May 31
The moon will pass near the blue-white star Regulus, which is on the Leo constellation for the second time this month. For some lucky sky-watchers in Eastern Brazil and Central and South Africa, the Moon will hide the star. Check out the IOTA chart for specific watch hours for cities around the world.