Events for 5/23
The big Dipper is high in the northwest tonight and you'll be able to see it 'hanging down by its handle.' Something amazing to notice: the big Dipper was just horizontal in the last weeks."That sort of quick change happens to star patterns passing near the zenith...Can you figure out why?" challenged Sky&Telescope last week. They put out the answer finally: "...Star patterns appear to change orientation fast when they pass near the zenith. The reason for this? When you're looking near the zenith, the directions toward "up" and "down" (toward and away from the zenith) differ a lot over short distances."
The keystone might be something you would wish to like to see as well. This link has what you need to know.
Events for 5/24
Tonight at exactly 2:52 pm EDT, the moon will shine at last quarter, rising in the 'water-jar' asterism. Also look for Messier 13 (a globular star cluster) in the center of the top bar in the keystone. It's extremely hard to view even in the darkest of nights, but with a telescope, you'll see a grand masterpiece of stars as seen below:
Events for 5/25
The Arch of Spring starts to sink lower each night, but after astronomical twilight each night: our four famous members take their places. In the west-northwest sky, Castor and Pollux are lined horizontal to each other, with Procyon to their lower-left and on the opposite side, farther, Capella.
Events for 5/26
Heading back to viewing at dawn, the crescent moon (almost new) hangs high where Jupiter is in the far lower-left. 15 degrees the lower left of Jupiter sits Venus, not high at all. Tiny, faint Mars will be 2° upper right of Venus and Mercury will be 4° lower left of Venus.
Events for 5/27
The summer triangle makes another great shot tonight. First Vega will shine in the east, then Deneb, the brightest star, while 'farther to the lower right of Vega is Altair, the last of the three Summer Triangle stars to rise' Sky&Telescope remarks. [It will rise around 10/11pm EDT in your location.]
Events for 5/28
Under Events for 5/26, you'll see pictures of what's happening with the planets this weekend. They're putting on a wonderful show. This is next Monday's sky:
Also tonight (around 6:30 UT = 2:30 am EDT Sunday morning), a star located in the constellation of Ophiuchus (seven mag.) will be occulted by asteroid 217 Eudora as seen from (first) Florida through Oklahoma, then Colorado to Oregon. See map, finder charts, and full information. Extended information.
Solar System Calendar
23 May 2011 08:25:30 Conjunction of Venus and Mars, 59.6' 23 May 2011 09:20:09 Conjunction of Vesta with the Moon, 5.1° 23 May 2011 09:24:37 Venus apparently closest to Mars, 59.6' 23 May 2011 11:24:03 Conjunction of Pallas with the Moon, 30.4° 24 May 2011 13:48:04 Conjunction of Neptune with the Moon, 5.4° 24 May 2011 18:52:11 Last Quarter of Moon 26 May 2011 07:12:23 Conjunction of Ceres with the Moon, 14.9° 26 May 2011 11:41:14 Max. South Latitude of the Moon, 5.2° 27 May 2011 01:54:11 Max. North Declination of Vesta, -16.7° 27 May 2011 08:30:49 Conjunction of Uranus with the Moon, 5.9° 27 May 2011 09:57:32 Moon at Apogee, 405003 km from Earth
Plant Positions for the week of 5/23 to 5/28
Mercury- lowest planet in the sky at dawn
Venus- brightest planet at dawn closest to the horizon
Mars- to the upper-left of Venus at dawn
Jupiter- Highest of all the dawn planets; second brightest
Saturn- magnitude 0.6 in Virgo; only planet really visible at night, the others are all around the time of dawn.
Uranus- mag 5.9 in western Pisces; very low in the east before dawn
Neptune- mag 7.9 in Aquarius, southeast before dawn
NEW! Pluto- mag 14 in Sagittarius, highest in the south before dawn
Have a great viewing this week!