Steve's Place

Photography and Astrophotography

Astro Calendar

Events of interest for May ….

May – Many thanks again for all your contributions to the group. Don’t ever forget, there is no such thing as a daft question in here. Don’t forget to visit out sister group “AUK – Aurora UK” for reports on aurora activity.

There are a few changes in this months “What’s Up” and I am trying to research as much upcoming activity as possible. There will be more postings on upcoming Deep Sky Objects (DSO’s) which are best placed for viewing. This is in part due to my own observatory now being functional and remoted and this also provides me some steerage on upcoming events.

May 09 – MERCURY – On May 9, at 20:59 GMT, Mercury (mag 0.4) will appear at its farthest apparent distance west from the Sun: the celestial bodies will be separated by 26°24′. The event is called the greatest elongation. It’s the best time to observe Mercury, so don’t miss the chance!

May 11 – STAR CLUSTER – The globular cluster M5 (NGC 5904; mag 5.7) in Serpens will be well placed in the evening sky in coming weeks. On 11 May it will reach its highest point in the sky at around midnight local time, and on subsequent evenings it will culminate four minutes earlier each day. From Scarborough, it is visible all night. It will become visible at around 22:55 (BST), 31° above your south-eastern horizon, as dusk fades to darkness. It will then reach its highest point in the sky at 01:03, 37° above your southern horizon. It will be lost to dawn twilight at around 03:00, 32° above your south-western horizon. At a declination of 2°04’N, it is visible across much of the world; it can be seen at latitudes between 72°N and 67°S. At magnitude 5.7, M5 is too faint to be seen with the naked eye from any but the very darkest sites, but is visible through a pair of binoculars or small telescope.

May 15 – MOON – The Moon will pass first quarter phase, appearing prominent in the evening sky and setting in the middle of the night. From Scarborough, it will be visible from soon after it rises, at 11:34, until soon before it sets at 03:04. At this time in its monthly cycle of phases, it appears almost exactly half illuminated. The Moon orbits the Earth once every four weeks, causing its phases to cycle through new moon, first quarter, full moon, last quarter, and back to new moon once every 29.5 days. As it progresses through this cycle, it is visible at different times of day. At first quarter, it appears high in the sky at sunset before sinking towards the horizon and setting in the middle of the night.

May 23 – MOON – The Full Flower Moon will occur on May 23, at 13:53 GMT. Our natural satellite will be in the constellation Scorpius. Technically, the Full Moon lasts only for a moment when the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun, but the lunar disk will appear full for one day before and after it.

May 30 – MOON – The Moon will pass last quarter phase, rising in the middle of the night and appearing prominent in the pre-dawn sky. From Scarborough, it will be visible from soon after it rises, at 02:13, until soon before it sets at 12:20. At this time in its monthly cycle of phases, it appears almost exactly half illuminated. The Moon orbits the Earth once every four weeks, causing its phases to cycle through new moon, first quarter, full moon, last quarter, and back to new moon once every 29.5 days. As it progresses through this cycle, it is visible at different times of day. At last quarter, it rises in the middle of the night and appears high in the sky by dawn. It sets at around lunchtime.

May 31 – MOON/SATURN – The 46.7%-illuminated Moon will be close to Saturn (mag 1.2). Both objects will be in the constellation Aquarius. Observe them with the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars. Observers from Argentina, Chile, southern Brazil, and Uruguay will also see the lunar occultation of Saturn.
Conjunction time: 08:01 GMT
Conjunction distance: 0°24′
Close approach time: 08:24 GMT
Close approach distance: 0°20′

May 31 – MERCURY/URANUS – Mercury (mag -0.8) will meet Uranus (mag 5.8) in the constellation Taurus. You can observe them with a pair of binoculars
Close approach time: 05:54 GMT
Close approach distance: 1°17′

Observations and imaging now being conducted at the Muston Observatory (MOBS) near Filey, North Yorks
Muston Observatory – https://www.facebook.com/groups/mustonobs

Don’t forget our sister group with near real time aurora alerts ….
AUK – Aurora UK – https://www.facebook.com/groups/AuroraUK/

Note: Times are marked BST those without BST are UTC (ie an hour less)
Thanks to: in-the-sky.org and various online astronomy calendars + own input

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