NASA’s sky-watching update for May features some wonderful views of the moon, Saturn, Jupiter, Venus, and Mars.
First up, look out for Saturn rising with a half-full moon on the morning of May 13.
Several days later, on May 17, you can witness the beauty of a slim crescent moon rising about an hour before the sun comes up, and for folks in the U.S. and Canada, Jupiter will appear to be very close to our lunar neighbor.
Even more special, from locations in the southern U.S., Jupiter will pass behind the moon as both rise in the morning twilight, while from the western U.S., Jupiter will be obscured by the moon as the pair rise before coming into view as the sun comes up.
Be aware that this will take place quite low in the sky, so clear sight of the horizon is essential for a good view. A pair of binoculars will also be useful when the sky starts to brighten.
After sunset on May 22 through 24, the moon, Venus, and Mars appear close together, with the moon seen between the two planets on May 23.
In its monthly notes, NASA says that Venus has been rising higher each evening for the past few months, explaining: “That begins to change in May, as the brilliant planet reaches its highest point in the western sky and starts trending lower as we move into June. It’ll disappear from evening skies by late July, reappearing in the eastern sky about a month later as a morning object.”
And if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, be sure to watch NASA’s video at the top of this page for some interesting information on how features in the sky appear a little differently than they do for folks in other parts of the world, for example, the moon’s phases fill up from left to right instead of right to left as they do in the north.
Finally, if you’re unsure about where to look for different planets and constellations, then be sure to try out one of these excellent astronomy apps.
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