Star calendar for May 2016

Star calendar 1–31 May 2016

6 May    The moon is at perigee, 56.1 Earth-radii (358,000 kilometers) away. With perigee occurring 15 hours before the new moon, expect tidal extremes.

9 May    Mercury is at inferior conjunction as it passes between the sun and Earth.

10 May    The Gemini Twins, Pollux and Castor, are 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper right low in the west tonight.

11 May    Tonight, the Gemini Twins are 1 fist-width to the moon’s right, and bright Procyon is 1 fist-width below the moon.

13 May    High in the south at dusk, Regulus, in the constellation Leo, the Lion, is 2 finger-widths above the moon. Jupiter is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper left.

14 May    Tonight, the moon is less than 2 finger-widths from Jupiter. Regulus is 1 fist-width to the moon’s right.

15 May    Regulus, Jupiter, the moon and Spica line up from upper right to lower left in the south this evening. Jupiter is 1 fist-width to the moon’s upper right, and Spica is 3 fist-widths to the moon’s lower left.

16 May    The moon is midway between Spica and Jupiter tonight.

17 May    Spica is less than 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left this evening.

18 May    The moon passes 3 finger-widths to Spica’s left tonight. The moon is at perigee, 63.64 Earth-radii (406,000 kilometers) away.

19 May    Low in the southeast at dusk, Spica is 1½ fist-widths to the moon’s upper right, and Mars is 2 fist-widths to the moon’s lower left.

21 May    The full moon and Mars rise together, and by midnight, Mars is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right. Antares, the heart of Scorpius, is 1 fist-width below the moon. Saturn is 4 finger-widths to the moon’s lower left.

22 May    The moon, Saturn and Antares rise less than an hour after sunset. At opposition, Mars is on the opposite side of our sky from the sun. When it makes its closest approach to Earth in a few days, the red planet’s face will be fully illuminated, at its brightest for the year and visible all night long.

23 May    Low in the west before dawn, Saturn is 3 finger-widths to the moon’s lower right, and Mars is more than 1 fist-width beyond Saturn.

24 May    The moon is above the dome of Sagittarius this morning.

29 May    Rising 4 hours before the sun, the last-quarter moon is high in the south at first light.

30 May    Mars is closest to Earth, only 0.503 astronomical units away. At magnitude –2.0, it’s near its –2.9 maximum brightness.

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