Observing Highlights for May 2016
Aquarid meteor shower peaks.
Most active for 7 days around this date. Associated with Comet Halley.
Very fast, bright meteors, up to 30 per hour. Favors skywatchers in the
tropics and southern hemisphere observing after midnight.
Eta Aquarids (Gary Kronk)
Shower Calendar (American Meteor Society)
(closest to Earth) at 4h UT (357,827 km; angular size 33.4').
(9° from Sun, morning sky) at 5h UT. Mag. -3.9.
at 19:30 UT. Start of lunation 1155.
(22° from Sun, evening sky) at 8h UT.
at inferior conjunction
with the Sun at 15h UT. Mercury passes into the morning sky.
across the face of the Sun. WARNING: NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN -- IT WILL
INSTANTLY DAMAGE YOUR EYES. Observers require a safe Sun filter
attached securely to the front of their telescope to safely observe
Mercury's tiny disk pass in front of the Sun. The event will be visible
from most of Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas. Transit begins at
11:12 UT; mid-transit at 14:58 UT; ends at 18:42 UT. The next transit of
Mercury will occur on November 11, 2019.
of Mercury (Wikipedia)
Ready for the Transit of Mercury (Sky & Telescope)
(morning sky) at 22h UT. Mag. +0.1.
at 12:12 UT.
times Universal Time (UT). USA Central Standard Time = UT-6 hours. (DST = UT-5 hrs,)
is caused by sunlight reflected off meteoric dust in the plane
of the solar system. Choose a clear, moonless night, about 1-2
hours after sunset, and look for a large triangular-shaped glow
extending up from the horizon (along the ecliptic). The best
months to view the Zodiacal Light is when the ecliptic is almost
vertical at the horizon: March and April (evening) and
October-November (morning); times reversed for the southern
Picture of the Day (APOD)
the Zodiacal Light (Weatherscapes)