What’s Up in the May Sky?

May’s Evening Planets:

Bright Venus will be up in Taurus the Bull for about one hour after sunset close to the horizon in May. Find Mercury in Taurus the Bull in the first three weeks of May until around 10 PM and in the last week until 9 PM. Red Mars will be in Gemini the Twins until midnight. Saturn will be in Capricornus the Sea-goat as of 2 AM and rising earlier every night.

May’s Evening Stars:

The Summer Triangle of Vega in Lyra the Harp, Deneb in Cygnus the Swan, and Altair in Aquila the Eagle will be up as of midnight and earlier every night until 10 PM by the end of the month. Spica in Virgo the Virgin, Arcturus in Boötes the Herdsman, Capella in Auriga the Charioteer, and Castor and Pollux in Gemini the Twins will be up. Also find the stars of constellations Cassiopeia, Virgo, Leo, Hercules, Draco, Ophiuchus, Libra, Cepheus, Hydra, and Ursa Major and Ursa Minor (the Big and Little Dippers).

May’s Morning Planets:

Find bright Jupiter in Aquarius the Water Bearer as of 3 AM and rising earlier every night. Saturn will be in Capricornus the Sea-goat until sunrise. Neptune is in Aquarius the Water Bearer as of 4 AM. Pluto is in Sagittarius the Archer as of 4 AM and lingering until the morning.

May ’s Morning Stars:

The Summer Triangle of Vega in Lyra the Harp, Deneb in Cygnus the Swan, and Altair in Aquila the Eagle will be up until sunrise. This month, look for reddish Antares in Scorpius and Arcturus in Boötes, along with the stars of constellations Hercules, Libra, Scorpius, Sagittarius, Pegasus, Perseus, Andromeda, Capricornus, Cepheus, Ophiuchus, Cassiopeia, Draco, Ursa Major, and Ursa Minor (the Big and Little Dippers).

May Skylights:

May 2: Jupiter, Saturn, Moon and Antares line up – Predawn

May 3: Last quarter Moon at 3:50 PM

May 5: Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower peaks – Predawn

May 11: New Moon at 3:00 PM

May 11: Moon at apogee (252,600 miles away)

May 19: First Quarter Moon at 3:10 PM

May 25: Moon at perigee (222,000 miles away)

May 26: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse 5:30 AM

May 26: Full Moon – SuperMoon at 7:15 AM

May 28: Mercury and Venus closest to each other until 2033 – Sunset, not easy to see

Times given in EDT.

Resources

Download Ken Graun’s May 2021 sky chart for reference and observing ideas. Another equally helpful resource is Skymaps’ monthly evening sky chart, available for different hemispheres. Download The Evening Sky Map for May.

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