May Celestial Event Outlook

May 4th – Conjunction of the Moon & Saturn [1:05AM-4:44AM]

The Moon and Saturn will share the same right ascension at this time. The pair will be visible in the morning sky, becoming accessible around 1:05AM, and reach the highest point in the sky at 4:44AM, 25 degrees above the southern horizon. Around 5:28AM, they will be lost to dawn twilight. This will not be visible in the same field of view using telescopes or binoculars, but will be visible to the naked eye.


May 6th – Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower [Early Morning]

The Eta Aquarid meteor shower will peak on Sunday, May 6th, 2018. The Eta Aquarids is one of two meteor showers created by the debris from Comet Halley. This meteor shower tends to radiate from the constellation Aquarius in the sky. The shower is named after the brightest star of the constellation, Eta Aquarii. The best time to experience this shower will be between 3:00AM to 5:00AM Central Time. We will see debris from Halley’s path again in October, creating the Orionid meteor shower. The next time the Comet will be visible will be in 2061.


May 6th – Moon & Mars make a close approach [1:15AM – dawn]

The Moon and Mars will make a close approach, nearing each other. The pair will be visible by the naked eye or binoculars after 1:15AM, and last until dawn breaks as visibility will fade. The maximum altitude of this event will be 24 degrees above the southern horizon.

May 9th – Jupiter at opposition [All night, best after Midnight]

Jupiter will be best viewed on this night as it will be at opposition to the sun. This also means Jupiter will be closest to Earth on this night as it passes opposition. It will be much brighter and larger than previous nights.


May 11th – M5 in best position [All Night]

The globular cluster M5 (NGC 5904) in Serpens will be well places for observing. It will reach its highest point in the sky around midnight. Magnitude of 6.0 causing it to be quite faint, binoculars or a small telescope will be needed.

May 12th – 19th – Best viewing of the “Core” of the Milky Way

With the New Moon approaching and passing, this will be the best time frame the moon will not be the brightest for viewing the Milky Way. Also this is best time to begin viewing the big “C” in the Milky Way also known as the Core. Times to view will still remain the best after midnight.


May 15th – New Moon

May 20th – Close Approach of Moon & M44 [8:32PM Onward]

The Moon and M44 will make a close approach of each other. The moon will be 5 days old at this time. The pair will become visible around 8:32PM, 48 degrees above the western horizon. This will be observed in the constellation of Cancer. The best way to view this will be with a pair of binoculars.


May 29th – Full Moon

At 9:21AM the Moon will reach full phase. This Moon is typically named the Flower Moon.