Tracking May Skies

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MILKY WAY — (FOX 17) — Each month, I examine some of the sights you can see in the nighttime sky. This information is provided by Indiana University in Bloomington.

PLANETS:  There are some fascinating events taking place this month.  In the western sky just after sunset, Venus and Jupiter will be in the same neighborhood. At the beginning of the month, you can see Jupiter high in the sky and Venus low in the west-northwest. With each passing night, Jupiter will get lower while Venus gets higher. On May 28, they will be next to each other.  About halfway through their “dance,” another planet joins in. On May 19, Mercury will join to form a trio. From May 24 to May 29, the three planets will form a triangle. The three will be closest together on May 26. If all this wasn’t enough, Saturn will come into view in the southeastern sky just after sunset. It will be highest in the sky around Midnight. Its largest moon (Titan) will be directly below Saturn on May 6 and May 22 and directly above it on May 14 and May 30.

METEOR SHOWER: The Eta Aquarid meteor shower peaks on the night of May 5. Astronomers estimate there could be up to 25 shooting stars per hour. Since the moon doesn’t rise until 4AM, and since it is small anyway, the sky should be nearly ideal for viewing the meteor shower.

MOON PHASES: Last Quarter is on the 2nd, followed by the new moon on the 9th. This month’s first quarter occurs on the 18th, and then the full moon is on the 25th. A second last quarter phase happens on the 31st.

CLEAR OR CLOUDY: To find out if you can see any of the exciting stuff in the sky this month, join us on FOX 17 News or visit the weather page at http://www.fox17online.com/weather

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