Welcome to this issue of
Qué tal in the Current Skies

Here you will find useful observing information about the visible planets, our Moon and other moons, the Sun, as well as various 'things' celestial. Among these web pages you will find monthly star maps for either the northern or southern hemisphere that are suitable for printout. Animated images are utilized to illustrate celestial motions such as orbital motions of the planets, and other solar orbiting objects, or apparent and real motions along the ecliptic and the local horizon. Regular features include plotting the monthly positions of the visible planets using heliocentric coordinates; following moon phases; conjunctions; the sun's apparent motion and the Earth's real motion along the ecliptic.
Scroll down for more web site information, resources, and a link to the previous month issue.

Volume 24          Issue 5
May 2018
   Month at a Glance:
This month Mercury reappears in the morning skies before sunrise and while somewhat low over the horizon Mercury will remain visible for most of the month. Rising well ahead of Mercury is the 'red planet' Mars followed an hour or so later by Saturn. Both are well placed and easily seen over the east-southern horizon in the hours before sunrise. Jupiter reaches opposition this month so it will be visible all night as it rises at around sunset and sets at around sunrise. Jupiter is also the closest to the Earth for the year as it comes within about 4.4 AU (409,005,552 miles; 658,230,631 km).
Click here for the month at a glance calendar.

The 2.6-day young waxing crescent Moon about 3o from the planet Venus.

Mercury spends much of this month over the eastern horizon an hour or so before sunrise local time.
Venus is very visible over the western horizon at sunset local time. Watch this inner planet as it moves eastward away from the Sun and passes through the constellation of Taurus the Bull and crosses the feet of the Gemini Twins.
Mars rises a couple of hours after midnight local time and is over the eastern to southern horizon the remainder of the night hours.
Dwarf Planet Ceres slowly moves eastward near the stars making the top curve of Leo's 'backward question mark'. However with a dim magnitude of 7-8th the dwarf planet will be hard to see.
Jupiter reaches opposition this month and will be rising around the local time for sunset and be visible the remainder of the night hours, setting around local sunrise time.
Saturn rises a couple of hours after midnight local time and about an hour before Mars and is over the eastern to southern horizon the remainder of the night hours.

Star Maps and More
Visit bobs-spaces for regular updates on what is up.
Contact Me

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May Sky Calendar
02. Waning Gibbous Moon Near Antares
04. Space Day
      Star Wars Day
      Waning Gibbous Moon near Saturn
05. Launch of InSight Lander Mission to Mars
      National Astronaut Day
06. Moon at Apogee: 251,344 miles (404,500 km)
Waning Gibbous Moon near Mars
07. Moon at Descending Node
      Last Quarter Moon
08. Jupiter at Opposition
10. Jupiter Closest to Earth 4.4 AU)
13. Waning Crescent Moon near Mercury
14. Sun Enters the Boundaries of the Constellation Taurus the Bull
15. New Moon
17. Waxing Crescent Moon near Venus
      Moon at Perigee: 226,055 miles (363,800 km)
19. Waxing Crescent Moon near Beehive Open Star Cluster
20. Moon at Ascending Node
21. Waxing Gibbous Moon near Regulus
      The Sun Does Not Enter the Astrological Sign of Gemini
22. First Quarter Moon
      Mars Autumnal Equinox
25. Towel Day
27. Waxing Gibbous Moon near Jupiter
29. Full Moon
31. Waning Gibbous Moon near Saturn
May 2May 2 - 5 am CDT
May 4May 4 - 5:00 am CDT
May 6May 6 - 5:00 am CDT
May 8Jupiter at Opposition
May 13May 13 - 6:00 am CDT
May Astronomical SunMay 14 - Sun Enters Boundary of Taurus the Bull
May 19May 19 - 9:00 pm CDT
May 21May 21 - 9 pm CDT
May 21 Astrological SunMay 21 - Sun Does Not Enter the Astrological Sign of Gemini
May 27May 27 - 10:00 pm CDT
May 29May 29 - 10:00 pm CDT
May 31May 31 - 11:00 pm CDT
Above the Solar System at 10 day Intervals

Heliocentric Coordinaes

Name May 06 May 16 May 26
Mercury 293o `7' 326o 58' 010o 49'
Venus 115o 26' 131o 41' 147o 56'
Earth 225o 26' 235o 06' 244o 43'
Mars 256o 02' 261o 33' 267o 10'
Ceres 154o 52' 158o 02' 161o 20'
Jupiter 228o 07' 228o 53' 229o 39'
Saturn 274o 16' 274o 34' 274o 52'
Plot planet positions using polar graph paper that you can download from this web site - or at that web site create your own.

Above the Terrestrial Planets at 10 day Intervals
Local Time CST (UT-6)

Spot the ISS

Some Astronomy Web Links

    Click here.