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The May Night Sky

The sky is not a painting, it's a movie. Stars pulse, flare, some explode as supernova, asteroids whiz by the earth, new comets appear in the sky, Aurora sets the northern skies ablaze and meteors streak through Earth's atmosphere.

 Astronomy Picture of the Day

See below Hubble site Tonight's Sky, highlights of this months night sky movie with narration below. Click on photo below.

The Full Moon for May

Full Flower Moon May In most areas, flowers are abundant everywhere during this time. Thus, the name of this Moon. Other names include the Full Corn Planting Moon, or the Milk Moon. Courtesy Farmers Almanac.

Lunar Phase

First Quarter Moon May 2 10:47 pm EDT
Full Moon May 10 5:42 pm EDT
Last Quarter Moon May 18 8:33 pm EDT
New Moon May 25 3:44 pm EDT

The Planets Visibility for May


Morning Sky E

 Mercury is in the morning sky rising at 4:58 am in the constellation Pisces low in the east  at +0.7 magnitude with a diameter 0000'09" and Phase (%): 35.65.


Morning Sky E

Venus May 15th is very low in the eastern horizon rising at 4:000 am. Venus is at -4.4 magnitude with a diameter 0000'30" and Phase (%): 37.91. Venus is in Pisces.


Evening Sky WNW

Mars May 15th is at +1.6 magnitude with a diameter 0000'04" located in the constellation Taurus as a reddish orange star visible after sunset in the west. Mars sets at 10:03 pm. Mars through a telescope appears as a fuzzy object due to its distance from Earth. To see which part of Mars surface is visible at any time, check out the Mars Profiler at Sky & Telescope Magazine's web page.


Evening - Morning Sky E

Jupiter May 15th is at -2.4 magnitude with a diameter 0000'42" located in the constellation Virgo. Jupiter rises east southeast. at 4:18 am.

A small telescope will easily reveal four of Jupiter's largest and brightest moons. Check out Sky & Telescope's Jupiter Moons Utility for other configurations. Sky and Telescope Red Spot Calculator 


Evening - Morning Sky ESE 

Saturn May 15th is at +0.2 magnitude with a diameter 0000'18" located in the constellation Sagittarius. Saturn rises at 10:33 am. Saturn's ring tilt is +26.4. Saturn is best viewed when higher in the eastern sky after 4:00 am till dawn.

See: Saturn's moons locations 


Morning Sky E

 Uranus May 15th is in the constellation Pisces at 5.9 magnitude with a diameter 0000'03" rising at 4:38 am. Uranus is above Mercury at an Angular separation: 0411'31" distance. A moderate-sized telescope will show it as a faint green-gray disk. 

See: Sky and Telescope location PDF. Courtesy: Sky and Telescope


Morning SE Sky

Neptune May 15th is in the southeast sky rising at 2:58 am and at magnitude 7.9 with a diameter 0000'.02" located in Aquarius.

See: Sky and Telescope location PDF. Courtesy: Sky and Telescope

Dwarf Planets


Morning Sky

Pluto is located amid the stars of the Milky Way in the constellation Sagittarius. Pluto is at magnitude +14.2 and diameter 0000'.00" rising at 12:06 am in the east southeast.



C/2015 V2 (Johnson) Magnitude 7.8 Evening Object. Located in Bootes. See members section for location.

  For more on current Comets and locations see: Sky & Telescope also Seiichi Yoshida web site here.


The Eta Aquariid meteors peak on the night of May 5-6. Conditions should be good once the waxing gibbous Moon sets before 4:00 am. This shower can produce 50 meteors per hour under dark, clear skies.


See: Listen to Meteors , American Meteor Society, Meteors Online also NASA All Sky Network

Some local links below to Heavens Above satellite information website.

Satellites Visible from York

Satellites visible from Hanover

Satellites visible from Gettysburg

Satellites visible from Lancaster

Satellites visible from Baltimore

Satellites visible from Harrisburg

Also see: Spaceflight NASA

The Sun

Real time solar wind dials are linked live to the ACE Spacecraft.

 If the dial on the left (Magnetic Field) has dipped below zero, the speed is high and the dial dynamic pressure is in the yellow/red, be alert for Aurora. Anytime the gauges are in the Red and the dial on the left, the Magnetic Field BZ has dipped to the yellow-red... Aurora will be occurring in our area. See link to solar wind gauge here: REAL TIME SOLAR WIND

See explanation of  solar wind dials below by clicking on photo of dials


Use your hand to find degrees

NASA Night Sky Network Planner

Free download. AstroPlanner  

Download a free starmap at: Skymaps

Make your own starmap at: Star Finder

Download a free Planetarium for your computer at: Stellarium or Hallo Northern Sky Stellarium has many extra features.

Your Sky - Fourmilab

Your night sky map on the internet

Sky & Telescope Interactive Sky Chart Register to use.

Sky Map