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May 2015 Urban Observing May 4, 2015

Posted by aquillam in Astronomy.
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May means late sunsets, but above freezing nights. It still gets pretty cold though, so don’t leave your coat behind just yet! (also, I’m pressed for time, so I apologize in advance for the horrible writing. I hope to add posts with pictures latter in the month…)

Special Events

Meteor Showers

Look for the Eta Aquariids in the first two weeks of the month. Observers near the equator may see rates of up to 60 meteors per hour! Further from the equator, rates will be closer to 10 to 30 per hour. The actual peak will be just before dawn on May 7, when a waxing gibbous moon makes meteor watching difficult.

Moon

  • New Moon May 18
  • Full Moon May 3

Planets

Mercury makes it’s best evening appearance all year in the evening to start the month! Greatest eastern elongation is on the 6th, so look soon!

Venus shines bright in Taurus at the start of the month, in Gemini at the end. Look for a nice conjunction with the crescent Moon on the 21.

Mars is pretty much gone from the skies this month.

Jupiter remains an excellent target in the evening, hanging out in Cancer all month. Look for it high in the SW early, WSW late in the month. The Moon passes it on the 23 – 24.

Saturn returns, finally! Opposition occurs on the 22, so it only gets better for the next few months. Unfortunately, sunset also gets later, so I’d look now, while it’s big, bright, and dark at a reasonable time!

May 6, 10 PM

May 6, 10 PM

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