Archive for May, 2006

May 2006

Monday, May 1st, 2006

May is a great month for viewing. On May 4th Jupiter will be at planetary opposition to the Earth, giving us fantastic views of Jupiter for the next few months. The New Moon for May occurs on May 26th. This makes the weekend of May 27th - 28th the best weekend for deep sky viewing.

The Full Moon for May, also known as the “Flower Moon,” occurs on May 12th.

Mercury is visible the first week or so in May in the Constellation Pisces (The Fish) and then disappears into the glare of the Sun. Mercury will re-appear in the evening at the very end of the month, by then in the Constellation Taurus (The Bull).

May 1, 2006 - Mercury, Venus, Uranus & Neptune
May 1, 2006 - Positions of Mercury, Venus, Uranus and Neptune at Sunrise

May 24, 2006 - Venus & Moon
May 25, 2006 - Venus rises within 6° of the waning crescent Moon

Venus can be found all month in the morning hours before sunrise. Venus starts out this month in the Constellation Pisces until May 8th when Venus crosses into the Constellation Cetus (The Sea Monster). On May 12th Venus returns to Pisces where it remains until May 31st when it finishes the month moving into the Constellation Aries (The Ram).

Mars is visible all month during the evening hours. Mars starts the month in the Constellation Gemini, but on May 3rd, Mars moves into the Constellation Cancer (The Crab) where is will remain for the rest of the month.

On May 1st, Mars sets within 6° of the waning crescent moon and on May 30 Mars sets within 2° 30′ of the waning crescent Moon.

May 1, 2006 - Mars, Moon & Saturn
May 1st, 2006 - Mars and the Moon sets within 5° of each other.

Jupiter is at opposition on May 4th. This will provide great view of Jupiter from now for the next few months. When a planet is at opposition to Earth, it is opposite to the Sun, rising as the Sun sets and visible all night until the Sun rises. Also near opposition, is when a planet is physically closest to the Earth so that views of the planets are the best possible view from Earth.

May 4, 2006 Jupiter opposition
May 4, 2006 - Jupiter willl be at opposition with the Earth.

Jupiter is visible all night, all month. Jupiter can be found in the constellation Libra (The Balance) until December 2006. Jupiter is moving in retrograde motion against the sky until July 5th.

Saturn can be viewed in the evening hours all month. Saturn is located in the Constellation Cancer (The Crab) until August 2006.

Mars, Moon, Saturn & M44
On May 30, as Mars and thewaning crescent Moon set within 2° 30′ of each other, Jupiter moves in position with the Beehive Cluster known as M44.

Uranus can be found in the morning hours all month and is located in the Constellation Aquarius (The Water Bearer) until the year 2009.

May 1, 2006 - Mercury, Venus, Uranus & Neptune
May 1, 2006 - Positions of Mercury, Venus, Uranus and Neptune at Sunrise

Neptune can be located in the Constellation Capricornus (The Sea Goat) until the year 2010. Neptune is visible all night, all month.

Pluto is found in the constellation Serpens Cauda (The Snake’s Tail) until September 2006. Pluto is visible all month from around midnight until Sunrise.


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