The May 1997 StarDial

Most of May:
Comet Hale-Bopp may be found in the region of Taurus, lower over the horizon, in the west-northwestern skies of early night. It may well begin to grow fainter, and by the end of the month it is possible that viewing might only be possible with binoculars. However, this is unknown. As the comet gets closer to the horizon, and viewing time after sunset is diminished, other factors besides apparent magnitude come into play which will make it harder to view.

Through May, Mars will still be bright and visible in the evening skies, setting at some point after midnight. It should be visible in the southeastern skies, near Leo, but it will likewise grow dimmer as the month progresses.

May 4th:
Peak of the Eta Aquarid meteor shower. These will be seen as coming from the vicinity of the constellation of Aquarius, which will be east-southeast in the early morning hours. These particular meteors are leftover rocks and particles from Halley's comet as our planet crosses that area of space, and they burn up in our atmosphere. Some may be seen as well during the period between April 18th and May 28th.
Also on May 4th, the Moon will occlude Saturn, but this will happen in daylight hours. However, about 45 minutes before sunrise, one might be able to see the crescent moon rise in the eastern skies close to Saturn (the latter towards the left.)

May 6th:
New Moon at 4:46 pm, EDT.

May 19th:
Venus passes 6 degrees north of the star Aldebaran, at 4 am, EDT.

May 22nd:
Full Moon at 5:13 am, EDT.

May 28th:

The Moon passes 4 degrees north of Jupiter, 2 AM, EDT.

May 31st:
The Moon passes 5 degrees north of Saturn, 11 pm, EDT.

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Created by Searles and Deborah O'Dubhain,
Copyright 1996 by The Summerlands, Inc., All rights reserved
Page last updated:
02/07/97 03:56 PM