What's to see in the night sky in May?

May, 2001

This chart represents the sky as it looks at around 10 PM local time. Right click on the chart, select "Save As" and save the image. You can then print this chart from a photo application, like Print Shop Pro, hold it in front of you with the direction you are facing at the bottom. Then, raise it above your head and you should be able to find your way around from there.


Moon phases

New-5/2_____First Quarter-5/10____Full-5/17____Last Quarter-5/24



Meteor showers

The Eta Aquarid shower peaks 5/5/00 at around 60/hr max. Unfortunately, you'll have to be up VERY early to see any. Watch the eastern skies before dawn. The radiant rises at 1:48 am MST.

Deep Sky Objects (DSO's)

We're smack in the middle of "Galaxy Central" after dark. If you can't find a galaxy to look at, you're just not trying hard enough. ;-) Still lots of star clusters hangin' around too. Just look to the East as the summer Milky Way rises.
Messier Objects

Let's see, the entire Virgo Cluster of galaxies, M49, 58, 59, 60, 61, 63, 64, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 98, 99, 100, not to mention the galaxies not included in this group, 51, 83, 104, 106 oh, and you may want to check out 101. Then we have the globular clusters M3, 5, 53, and 68. Round it out with M40, (2 stars, yawn) and you're just about done.....with just the Messiers! There's a reason why most people take a break after Virgo during the Messier Marathon. :-)

Named DSO's

There's a ton of other interesting galaxies in this region, too. Ngc 4565 is an amazing edge-on galaxy in Coma Berenices. There's also one of my favorite binocular open clusters -Melotte 111, just North of the Virgo cluster. It looks like a triangle with a spar on one side.

Although not much to look at, there is 3C273, just to the south of M61. It's the brightest quasar yet discovered. That should keep you busy for a while...since its visual magnitude is around 12.

Here's the link to SEDS as promised.

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Page URL: http://www.stonehavenobservatory.com/May.html

Copyright 1999, Steve Dodder
Webmaster: Steve Dodder
Revised: 7/20/10