Jeffers Foundation

ASTRONOMY

Astronomy

May, 2019

Highlights
Highlights
By the end of the month, the stars of the Summer Triangle rise at 10:00 pm. Three bright stars, each in a different constellation, make an isosceles triangle in the sky. Altair, at the vertex, is in the constellation of Aquila, the eagle, and is 17 LY away. The brightest of the three is Vega, in the constellation of Lyra, the harp. A beautiful blue-white, it lies at a distance of 25 LY. Deneb, at the tail of Cygnus the Swan, is the faintest of the three, but it has good reason to be, at an incredibly distant 2,600 LY. Deneb is one of the most luminous stars ever found. Look closely, and you can see the Milky Way coursing its way through the middle of the triangle.

Morning Sky

Mercury and Venus are joined by the Moon on 5/2, but Mercury quickly leaves Venus behind as it passes behind the Sun, as seen from the Earth, moving from the morning sky into the evening sky, with a 5/21 Superior Conjunction. Saturn gets a close pass from the Moon on 5/23 and moves into the night sky by the end of the month.

Evening Sky

A close pass of the Moon on 5/7, and Mars grows ever closer to the horizon. Jupiter pushes further into the evening, rising before 10:00 pm by the end of the month, seen with the Moon on 5/19. This month we are peering outside the disk of our galaxy. The contrast with summer, when we look into the busy heart of our galaxy, is staggering. Even in winter, looking along the outer rim, the sky is rich. In this spring sparseness we get a clear view into the galaxies beyond our own.

Sun Declination

PHENOMENA

4th, New Moon - 5:45 pm

6th, Moon near Aldebaran low in west - At sunset

6th, Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower peak - Between midnight and dawn 5/7

8th, Mercury 1.38° south of Uranus - 3:13 am

11th, First Quarter Moon - 8:12 pm

12th, Moon near Regulus in west - After midnight

13th, Moon perigee; 229,291 miles - 4:52 pm

18th, Full Moon Blossom (Ojibwe) - 4:11 pm

18th, Venus 1.15° south of Uranus - 3:12 am

26th, Last Quarter Moon - 11:34 am

26th, Moon apogee; 251,120 miles - 8:27 am

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