Sunday, 1 May 2022

May Night Skies
A brief overview of what to see in the sky with the unaided eye:

Stars and Constellations

●    Some prominent constellations visible in the evening sky are Bootes, Corona Borealis and Hercules
●    Follow the ‘handle’ stars of the Big Dipper star group southward to the star Arcturus in Bootes. Arcturus and Bootes continue to be prominent most of the night
●    Arcturus is a bright (first magnitude) orange star nearly overhead during spring evenings
●    Corona Borealis is a distinct (in dark skies) “C” shaped group of stars east of (or below) Bootes
●    Hercules is also a reasonably distinct constellation surrounding a “keystone” shaped group of stars east of Corona Borealis
●    The bright constellation Leo is high in the western sky during spring evenings

Planets

●    Mercury is visible in the evening sky during the first half of the month and then passes inferior conjunction with the sun April 21
●    Venus shines brightly low in the southeastern pre-dawn sky
●    Mars is visible in the southeastern pre-dawn sky upper right of (west of) Venus
●    Jupiter is visible in the southeastern pre-dawn sky upper right of (west of) Venus and reaches conjunction with Mars May 29
●    Saturn is visible in the southeastern pre-dawn sky upper right of (west of) Venus, Mars and Jupiter

Moon Phases

●    First Quarter Moon May 8, 20:21 EDT
●    Full Moon May 16, 00:14 EDT (and lunar eclipse)
●    Third Quarter Moon May 22, 14:43 EDT
●    New Moon May 30, 07:30 EDT

Noteworthy Sky Events

●    May 15: total eclipse of the moon, partial phase begins at 22:28 EDT and total phase begins at 23:29
●    May 29, pre-dawn sky: Jupiter and Mars in conjunction, very close together in SE sky

Sky Resources Online

Some website resources for sky charts, weekly sky events, and more information:
●    Astrogeo.ca/skylights
●    Skyandtelescope.org
●    Skymaps.com
●    Skynews.ca
●    www.heavens-above.com

Star Chart for mid-May, mid-evening (courtesy of www.heavens-above.com):