May 2007

Lunar Events

The new moon for May occurs on Wednesday, May 16th, 2007.  This makes the weekends of May 12th-13th and May 19th-20th the best weekends for deep sky viewing.

There are two Full Moons for May.  The first occurs on May 2nd, 2007.  This full moon is known as the Full Flower Moon or Corn Planting Moon. The second full moon in May will occur on May 31st, 2007 and is known by the Strawberry Moon or Rose Moon according to the “Maine Rule”.

By the much simpler “Sky & Telescope Rule” the second full moon in a calendar month is the Blue Moon.

Mercury

Mercury is observable around the last week of May as it emerges from the glare of the evening sun. It will continue to improve its position in the evening sky until June 2nd, 2007 when it reaches its Greatest Eastern Elongation when it will be 23° 22’ from the Sun.

Mercury starts out this month in the constellation Aries (The Ram). On May 8th it moves into the constellation Taurus (The Bull) until May 28th where it finishes the month in the constellation Gemini (The Twins).

Mrcury & Venus

Mercury emerges from the Sun’s glare at sunset around May 21st, 2007.

Venus

Venus is still the Evening Star for the month of May, being the most dominate object in the western sky after sunset. Venus will continue to improve its position away from the Sun until June 8th when it reaches its Greatest Eastern Elongation when it will be over 45°23’ from the Sun and setting three hours after sunset.

Venus starts out in May in the constellation Taurus (The Bull) and crosses into the constellation Gemini (The Twins) on May 8th, 2007.

Venus, Moon in Gemini

On May 19th, Venus will be passed by a three-day-old, waxing,

crescent Moon within 1°30’.

Mars

Mars is visible in the morning hours all month.  Mars begins May in the constellation Aquarius (The Water Bearer) and on May 8th, Mars moves into the constellation Pisces (The Fish). On May 24th, Mars moves into the constellation Cetus (The Sea Monster) where it will stay until May 29th, when it returns to Pisces.

Mars, Uranus & Neptune

Mars begins May in the constellation Aquarius (The Water Bearer) less

than 1°40′ from the planet Uranus.

Jupiter

Jupiter is moving in retrograde motion all month in the constellation Ophiuchus (The Serpent Bearer). Jupiter will remain in the boundaries of Ophiuchus until December 2007.

On May 5th Jupiter will be passed by the waning, gibbous moon which passes within 6°40’ of Jupiter. Jupiter, Moon & Pluto

Jupiter is in excellent position for the next several months and is visible all night, as it will come to Opposition on June 5th, 2007.

Saturn

Saturn is located in the constellation Leo (The Lion) until the year 2009. Saturn is visible in the evening to early morning hours all month.

Saturn, Moon & Vnus On May 22nd, the waxing, crescent moon will rise within 1° of the planet Saturn.

Uranus

Uranus is located in the constellation Aquarius until the year 2009. Uranus begins this month less than 1°40′ from the planet Mars.

Uranus, Moon, Mars & Neptune

On May 12th, the waning, crescent moon will pass within 3° of Uranus.

Uranus Rises on May 1st around 4:00am and by the end of the month

Uranus is rising around 2:00 am.

Neptune

Neptune is located in the constellation Capricornus (The Sea Goat) until the year 2010.  Neptune rises around 2:00am at the first of the month and by the end of the month Neptune is rising around Midnight.

Neptune & Moon

On May 10th, Neptune rises around 3:15 am (PDT) within 2° 30’ of

the moon at Last Quarter.

Pluto

Pluto is located in the constellation Sagittarius (The Archer) until the year 2023.  Pluto will spend the entire month between 12°-14° from the planet Jupiter, located in the constellation Ophiuchus (The Snake Bearer). Pluto rises around 11:00    pm (PDT) on the first of the month and by the end of May, Pluto is rising around 9:00 pm (PDT).

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