• Candice Vetter

This Sky this Month May, 2021

Gary Boyle, The Backyard Astronomer We now say goodbye to the winter sky as the iconic Orion and Taurus sinks in the west after sunset. From the countryside on a moonless night, the heart of the Milky Way Galaxy will be visible in the south by 3 am and by 1 am at the end of the month. The sky changes 4 minutes per night. Events May 4/5 – Eta Aquariid meteor shower. Parent comet 1P/Halley ZHR:40 moving at 66 km/sec. Best time is later in the night. Moonrise at 3:50 am. May 11 – New Moon May 26 Full Flower Moon at 7:13 a.m. Moon starts eclipse in SW at sunrise and visible longer as you travel west. The largest moon of 2021 with large tides. Image the moon during the night and a DSLR camera. Atlantic Time Not visible Eastern Time Partial umbral eclipse begins at 5:44 a.m. Moon already below the horizon for most locations. Central Time Partial umbral eclipse begins at 4:44 a.m. local time. Totality – moon sets before totality begins. Mountain Time Partial umbral eclipse begins at 3:44 a.m. local time. Pacific Time Partial umbral eclipse begins at 2:44 a.m. local time. Partial Solar Eclipse Since the sun, moon and earth were lined up from the May 26 eclipse, June 10, 2021 sunrise already eclipsed at 5:15 a.m. Mid eclipse at 5:40 a.m. at about 80% coverage. End at 6:41 a.m. NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN WITHOUT A PROPER FILTER. Use #14 welders glass or purchase Baader film which is made to looking at the sun with a telescope. When using a scope or binoculars, the filter must be placed in front of the lens. Look for eclipse glasses from reputable telescope dealers online. Or make a pinhole projector or use a simple spaghetti collinear or anything with small holes to project the image safely on a sheet of paper or the side of a building. Planets Mercury and brilliant Venus are very low in the western sky. The two are closest on May 28. Over the next weeks and months, Venus will climb higher and higher in the sky. Apps on smartphones will show positions. Saturn and Jupiter are now seen in the early morning sky. Moon was below Saturn this morning and will be below Jupiter on May 5. Astronomy Day Astronomy week of kicks off Monday, May 10 with International Astronomy Day Saturday, May 15. Due to Covid no displays, solar viewing or star parties. International Space Station A nice high passage over Ottawa will be on the night of May 18 starting at 9:12 pm in the WSW. At 9:16 will be overhead and sets in the NNW at 9:19. Link on my site. Pass to the right of the moon and then up through the Big Dipper. Click on the blue date to reveal a star chart with the ISS path. Again, many apps will show satellites in the sky. I use Sky Guide for IOS. RASC Centre meeting Monthly meeting on the first Friday of the month. May 7 at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom webinar with a link on my website. Listeners can email me their questions via my website. And that is it for this month. END Known as “The Backyard Astronomer”, Gary Boyle is an astronomy educator, guest speaker, and monthly columnist for the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. He has been interviewed on more than 50 Canadian radio stations as well as Canadian and US television. In recognition of his public outreach in astronomy, the International Astronomical Union has honoured him with the naming of Asteroid (22406) Garyboyle. Follow him on Twitter: @astroeducator or his website: www.wondersofastronomy.com

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