The waning gibbous Moon stands about 7° east of Jupiter this night. The large planet rises shortly earlier than 10 p.m. native daylight time, about 20 minutes earlier than the Moon. The 2 march in tandem throughout the night time sky till morning twilight drowns them out. The 2 objects have been an identical distance aside yesterday, although the Moon was then west of the planet.
Tuesday, Could 21
Neptune rises round 3 a.m. native daylight time and seems almost 15° excessive within the east-southeast as twilight commences. The distant world glows at magnitude 7.9, so that you’ll want binoculars or a telescope to identify it. Happily, it lies close to a brighter star that can information you. This morning, Neptune stands 1.1° east-northeast of 4th-magnitude Phi (φ) Aquarii. You possibly can verify your sighting of Neptune by way of a telescope, which reveals the planet’s 2.3″-diameter disk and blue-gray coloration.
Mercury reaches superior conjunction at 9 a.m. EDT. This implies the innermost planet lies on the other aspect of the Solar from Earth and stays hidden in our star’s glare. It should return to view within the night sky on the finish of Could.
Wednesday, Could 22
The Moon shifts a mean of 13° eastward relative to the background stars day by day, and this movement carries it close to Saturn tonight. The ringed planet rises shortly after 11:30 p.m. native daylight time, 20 minutes earlier than the waning gibbous Moon. The 2 then cross the morning sky collectively, with Luna trailing some 5° behind its planetary companion. Not surprisingly, the Moon seems far brighter than the magnitude 0.3 planet. However Saturn stands out when the Moon isn’t close by, shining 4 occasions brighter than any of the background stars in its host constellation, Sagittarius the Archer. A telescope reveals the gasoline big’s 18″-diameter disk and a spectacular ring system that spans 40″ and tilts 24° to our line of sight.
Thursday, Could 23
With the Moon having exited the night sky, now’s a very good time to focus on one of many spring sky’s best deep-sky objects. The Beehive star cluster (M44) within the constellation Most cancers the Crab lies 30° excessive within the west after darkness falls. The Third-magnitude cluster seems roughly 40 % of the way in which from 1st-magnitude Pollux in Gemini to the equally brilliant star Regulus in Leo. With bare eyes underneath a darkish sky, you must be capable of spot the Beehive as a faint cloud. However this star group explodes into dozens of stars by way of binoculars or a small telescope at low energy.