Sunday, 1 April 2018

Welcome to the Pickering Astronomy blog, providing updates on what to see in skies above Pickering with the unaided eye during May.

Here is a short list of night sky sights for the unaided eye during the coming month.

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 constellation Bootes, Corona Borealis and Hercules are all in the eastern sky during spring evenings

Planets

Mercury is practically not visible, except that it’s low in the eastern sky before sunrise during early May
Venus is visible in the western sky during early evening and appears as a very bright white light
Mars rises after midnight and is easy to see in the southern sky before sunrise, moving eastward across          the Sagittarius constellation
Jupiter rises during the evening and is low in the southeastern sky during early May evenings and is much      more prominent in the southern sky by late May
Saturn rises after midnight during early May and before midnight later in the month and is low in the                southeastern sky until well after midnight in the Sagittarius constellation


Moon Phases
  •  Full Moon April 29, 20:58 EDT
  • Third Quarter May 7, 22:09 EDT
  • New Moon May 15, 07:48 EDT
  • First Quarter May 21 23:49 EDT
  • Full Moon May 29, 10:20 EDT
Noteworthy Sky Events
  • Venus remains very prominent in the western sky after sunset
  • Mars brightens significantly during May
  • Jupiter is at opposition May 8, rises at sunset, and is at its brightest of the year
Sky Resources Online
Some website resources for sky charts, weekly sky events, and more information:
  • www.skymaps.com
  • www.heavens-above.com
  • www.skynews.ca
  • www.skyandtelescope.com
  • http://astrogeoguy.tumblr.com/
Below is a chart of the sky as it would appear above Pickering, Ontario at 10 pm EDT, mid-May (courtesy of www.heavens-above.com). Custom sky charts like this can be plotted and printed at the websites www.heavens-above.com or www.skymaps.com.


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