What’s Up in the Sky – May 2022

AAA Observers’ May Guide

May’s Evening Planets: Find Mercury in Taurus the Bull in the first week of May until around 9 PM.

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 rising 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: Bright Venus will be in Pisces the Fish as of 4 AM. Find Jupiter and Neptune in Pisces as of 4 AM and rising earlier every morning until 2 AM by end of May. Red Mars will be moving between Aquarius the Water-Bearer and Pisces as of 4 AM and rising earlier every morning. Saturn will be in Capricornus the Sea-goat as of 3 AM and rising earlier every night. Pluto will be in Sagittarius the Archer as of 4 AM and lingering until the morning.

May’s Morning Stars: The Summer Triangle of Vega in Lyra, Deneb in Cygnus, and Altair in Aquila 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’s Total Lunar Eclipse: May will host the first of two Total Lunar Eclipses for the year 2022. The eclipse begins on Sunday, May 15, 2022, at 9:32 PM. Maximum totality happens a few hours later, at 12:11 AM (Monday, May 16, 2022). The total duration of this event is 5 hours, 19 minutes, with the eclipse ending at 2:50 AM on Monday, May 16, 2022. If you miss this event or if the weather does not cooperate, you can see the next Total Lunar Eclipse on November 8, 2022.

May Skylights:

  • May 5: Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower peaks – Predawn
  • May 5: Moon at apogee (251,800 miles away)
  • May 8: First Quarter Moon at 8:20 PM
  • May 10: Venus, Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn line up– Predawn
  • May 16: Full Moon at 12:15 AM
  • May 16: Total Lunar eclipse – Maximum Eclipse at 12:11 AM