Dust Off those Binoculars Now and Mark Your Calendar- Here are The Best Sky Shows in May!

Khryss | Published 2017-05-03 05:40
Now this is what I'm talking about, man!

REGULUS AND MOON—MAY 3

SKYCHART BY A. FAZEKAS, SKYSAFARI

First, find the waxing (between new and full) gibbous moon that isn't very far to the constellation Leo (find a backward question mark pattern, that's its head), specifically to its brightest member, the lion. In the cosmic cat, just a degree away from the moon, you will see the brilliant blue-white star called Regulus! So, if you're interested in star gazing tonight, just check out this table of the International Occultation Timing Association (IOTA) for specific times suited in your place.

ETA AQUARIDS PEAK—MAY 5

Get ready for an all-week view of shooting stars as Eta Aquarid meteor shower streaks through the skies. These icy visitors that will soon burn up high above our heads are from the leftover pieces of Halley’s comet. Now prepare for a couple of fireballs for astronomers actually expect up to 50 visible meteors an hour! If you're feeling extra, go ahead and wait for the moon to set and find the constellation Aquarius (East) for the best views.

JUPITER POSES WITH MOON—MAY 7

SKYCHART BY A. FAZEKAS, SKYSAFARI

See the dramatic appearance of the Earth's only permanent natural satellite and the largest planet in the solar system! Behold as the moon appears very close to the bright, creamy-colored Jupiter on May 7, night time!

JOVIAN ECLIPSES—MAY 11

Go get your backyard telescope and gaze at the Jupiter’s largest moon, Ganymede, as it disappears in the gas giant's shadow. See it again at 10:55 p.m. ET as the Jovian eclipse ends. Then wait for about an hour (11:45 p.m. ET) to see the icy moon Europa glide behind the said planet!

SATURN VISITS MOON—MAY 13

SKYCHART BY A. FAZEKAS, SKYSAFARI

Night owls, catch the waning gibbous moon and the ringed wonder, Saturn, rise above the southeastern sky just before midnight. Don't miss this celestial pair! Plus, have a telescope and see the famous set of rings that circle the gas giant!

MERCURY AT PRIMETIME—MAY 17

SKYCHART BY A. FAZEKAS, SKYSAFARI

If you're a morning person, you might want to drink your coffee in quite a different view. Get a glimpse of Mercury just before the local sunrise above the southeast horizon.

VENUS MEETS MOON—MAY 22

SKYCHART BY A. FAZEKAS, SKYSAFARI

Now if you wake up really, really early, you might catch the super-bright Venus. It rises about two hours before the sun. The waning crescent moon will even be beside Venus so prepare you cameras!

REGULUS AND MOON—MAY 31

This month may have ended itself the same way it (not technically, but you get my point) started. Again, you'll see the Regulus in Leo as the moon passes closely by it. So, for specific viewing times in cities around the world, check out this IOTA table. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/05/skywatching-guide-may-meteors-moons-planets-science/
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