The May Night Sky

What you can look out for this month…

· May 4th/5th- Eta Aquarids meteor shower- in the northern hemisphere the rate of meteors might reach 30 meteors per hour. The conditions for viewing will be impaired by the nearly full moon but they should still be visible!

· May 7th- A full supermoon! The moon will be full and at its closest approach to earth thus it will appear to be at its largest.

· May 22nd- The moon will be located on the same side of earth as the sun and will not be visible this will be the best time in the month to observe faint object such as other galaxies.

· May 23rd- A newly discovered comet, Atlas, will make its closest approach at a distance of 72 million miles.


The constellations best seen in May are Canes Venatici, Centaurus, Coma Berenices, Corvus, Crux, Musca and Virgo. Canes Venatici and Coma Berenices are northern constellations, while Centaurus, Virgo, Corvus, Crux and Musca lie south of the celestial equator. Virgo and Centaurus are the 2nd and 9th largest constellations in the sky, while Crux is the smallest.


Mercury – Favourable evening appearance. Appears bright and passes close to Venus on 21 and 22 May.

Venus – Rapidly draws closer to the Sun. Sets 4 hours after sunset on 1 May but just 30 minutes after on 31 May.

Mars – Brightening and growing in apparent size. Currently a low object in the morning sky.