The sky is starting to look a little better this month as more planets continue to remain in morning sky. Toss in a total eclipse of the moon this month, so things are starting to look a little better. The weather is improving and even that blasted Daylight Savings Time won't be that much of a problem.
MERCURY is really the lone planet easily available at night, and along with a close encounter with the moon in early May it is the star of the night sky. Unfortunately it rarely reaches that far above the horizon.
VENUS is the brightest object in the morning sky this month. After its close encounter with Jupiter last month it now starts to pull away from its larger brother. Look for Venus to rise around 3:30 am.
EARTH is slowly undergoing its changeover from winter to spring this month. Unfortunately this month usually means a lot of moisture and cloudy skies at night. Enjoy the warmer weather.
MARS, along with a brighter Venus, also peeks above the horizon around 4:00 am. By the end of the month it will rise close to an hour earlier and start its return trip back to the night sky.
JUPITER is chasing Venus in the early morning sky and is also among the crowd of planets peeking above the horizon close to 4:00 a.m. The light output of Jupiter continues to increase as the month goes on.
SATURN is the first of the planets in the morning group to put in an appearance. Showing up roughly one hour before the rest, it will reach good viewing height just before sunrise.
URANUS is traveling on the back side of the sun this month and will not be visible until very late in the month. NEPTUNE has a close encounter with Mars during the middle of the month but by month’s end they will be well separated.
NEPTUNE has a close encounter with Mars during the middle of the month but by month’s end they will be well separated.
Halley's Comet passed this way almost 50 years ago and left behind some debris which we now call the Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower. On May 16th, between 1:00 and 3:00 am, this shower is predicted to hit its peak. In the past this shower has produced upwards of 50 to 60 streakers in a single hour. This time the "experts" are saying maybe 10 to 30 per hour. The Eta Aquarids are best known for leaving long tails as they speed across the night sky.
Meteor showers happen all through the year. Each one is unique and happens at the same time each year, caused by the Earth passing through the debris left from a previous event like the passing of a comet across our orbit. The link below will take to you a website that has detailed information about each meteor shower. Of course at any given moment you could see a meteor streaking through our atmosphere that is not related to a meteor shower ... space junk happens ...!