Special Not-to-Miss Sky Sights in May. 2020

Evening Skies: Venus continues to magnificently dominate western skies some hours following sunset.........a stunning sight. But the show will close as our "sister" planet rather quickly descends towards the Sun for viewers throughout May. Binoculars for much of this month will reveal a distinct "Moon-like" crescent phase. Pay special attention to another "star" the planet Mercury catching up to Venus and then briefly above during the last 2 weeks of the month. Binoculars will also reveal Beta Tauri, a far distant star (at 134 light years away) near Venus (only a few light minutes away)

Morning Skies: Jupiter-Saturn-Mars (in that order, west to east) continue to make their attractive appearance throughout May  rather low in southern and southeastern skies.  While Jupiter and Saturn stay in rather close contact, Mars appears much more eastward but still easy to spot for early risers. In particular,  between May 12th and May 14th, the waning Moon joins the party making an attractive early morning sight an hour or so before sunrise, weather permitting. Keep binoculars on hand and share the "wandering stars". Consider the varying brightness and color of the three worlds. Also note the rapid increase in sunlight, as our Sun rises earlier and earlier throughout the month!
 
Comet Alert: A potentially bright comet will grace low northwestern skies in late May. Comet Swan may offer a fine sight for binoculars and just perhaps the unaided eye!


New Moon: Friday, May 22nd
 
First Quarter: Friday, May 29th

Full Moon:  Thursday, May 7th

Last Quarter:  Thursday, May 14th