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Kiss the Sky Tonight -- Month of May 2018

Posted by Guy Pirro   05/01/2018 09:06PM

Kiss the Sky Tonight -- Month of May 2018

Welcome to the night sky report for May 2018 -- Your guide to the constellations, deep sky objects, planets, and celestial events that are observable during the month. As the evenings grow warmer, head outside to peer deep into the sky for a view of the Sombrero Galaxy in Virgo and the Whirlpool Galaxy in Canes Venatici. This May will also bring us a spectacular view of the full disk of Jupiter, Saturn’s iconic rings, and the Eta Aquarid meteor shower. The night sky is truly a celestial showcase. Get outside and explore its wonders from your own backyard.

At nightfall, Venus hangs like a blazing diamond in the western sky. A backyard telescope reveals only its sunlight-reflecting clouds, which hide its rocky surface.

A second blazing planet hangs over the southeastern horizon -- Jupiter reaches opposition on May 8. It lies opposite the Sun in our sky, rises at sunset, and is visible all
night. A small telescope shows its cloud bands and its four large moons.

Looking toward the south, we've turned away from the crowded center of our Milky Way Galaxy. Thus, we see farther into the universe.

The large constellation Virgo fills the southern sky in the late evening. One of the zodiacal constellations of ancient times, Virgo honors the life-giving virtues of women. Using a pair of binoculars, visit the Virgo Cluster of Galaxies. These tiny smudges of light are galaxies, far away from our own Milky Way, each aglow with the light of billions of stars.

The Sombrero Galaxy, M104, lies in the southern part of Virgo. Its dark dust lane makes it look like a large hat, hence its name.

Two smaller constellations lie above Virgo -- Coma Berenices and Canes Venatici.

Coma Berenices honors a queen who gave her long hair to the gods to ensure her husband's safe return from war. M64, a spiral galaxy, can be found tangled in Berenice's Hair.

Canes Venatici represents the hunting dogs of the gods. The brightest star in Canes Venatici is Cor Caroli, the Heart of Charles, named for King Charles I of
England.

M51, in Canes Venatici, is known as the Whirlpool Galaxy. It is one of the most beautiful face-on spirals in the sky.

By month's end, the planet Saturn is rising in the southeast around midnight.

Mars, growing ever brighter as the year progresses, follows not far behind.

Saturn's iconic rings are visible even in small telescopes.

As Mars gets closer to Earth, large-scale surface details may become visible.

 

Just before sunrise during the first part of the month, diminutive Mercury may be seen just above the eastern horizon. Because it is so small and so close to the rising Sun, spotting Mercury becomes more difficult as the
month progresses.

The annual Eta Aquarid meteor shower returns this month. On the night of May 6 to 7, expect to see up to 10 meteors per hour. Look for them shooting from the east after midnight.

  

The night sky is always a celestial showcase. Explore its wonders from your own backyard.

The following Deep Sky Objects are found in constellations that peak during the month. Some can be viewed with a small telescope, but the majority will require a moderate to large telescope. The following is adapted from my personal viewing list: "The Guy Pirro 777 Best and Brightest Deep Sky Objects."

 

 

Constellation: Bootes

 

NGC 5248 Galaxy  C45, Herschel 400 H34-1

NGC 5466 Globular Cluster Herschel 400 H9-6

NGC 5557 Galaxy Herschel 400 H99-1

NGC 5676 Galaxy Herschel 400 H189-1

- NGC 5660  Galaxy Paired with H189-1

NGC 5689 Galaxy Herschel 400 H188-1

 

 

Constellation: Canes Venatici

NGC 4111 Galaxy Herschel 400 H195-1
NGC 4143 Galaxy Herschel 400 H54-4
NGC 4151 Galaxy Herschel 400 H165-1 Canes Venatici Seyfert Galaxy
- NGC 4145 Galaxy Paired with H165-1
NGC 4214 Galaxy Herschel 400 H95-1
NGC 4242 Galaxy P214
NGC 4244 Galaxy C26
NGC 4258 Galaxy M106 Seyfert Galaxy Herschel 400 H43-5
NGC 4346 Galaxy Herschel 400 H210-1
NGC 4395 Galaxy P71
NGC 4449 Galaxy C21, Herschel 400 H213-1
NGC 4485 Galaxy Herschel 400 H197-1 Paired with H198-1
NGC 4490 Galaxy Herschel 400 H198-1 Cocoon Galaxy Paired with H197-1
NGC 4618 Galaxy Herschel 400 H178-1
NGC 4631 Galaxy C32, Herschel 400 H42-4 Whale Galaxy
- NGC 4627 Galaxy Paired with C32
NGC 4656 Galaxy Herschel 400 H176-1 Hockey Stick Galaxy
- NGC 4657 Galaxy Interacting with H176-1
NGC 4736 Galaxy M94
NGC 4800 Galaxy Herschel 400 H211-1
NGC 5005 Galaxy C29, Herschel 400 H96-1 Paired with H97-1
NGC 5033 Galaxy Herschel 400 H97-1 Paired with H96-1
NGC 5055 Galaxy M63 – Sunflower Galaxy
NGC 5194 Galaxy M51 - Whirlpool Galaxy
NGC 5195 Galaxy Herschel 400 H186-1 Paired with M51
NGC 5272 Globular Cluster M3
NGC 5273 Galaxy Herschel 400 H98-1
- NGC 5276 Galaxy Paired with H98-1
NGC 5371 Galaxy P215


Constellation: Coma Berenices

NGC 4147 Globular Cluster Herschel 400 H19-1
NGC 4150 Galaxy Herschel 400 H73-1
NGC 4192 Galaxy M98
NGC 4203 Galaxy Herschel 400 H175-1
NGC 4245 Galaxy Herschel 400 H74-1
NGC 4251 Galaxy Herschel 400 H89-1
NGC 4254 Galaxy M99
NGC 4274 Galaxy Herschel 400 H75-1
NGC 4278 Galaxy Herschel 400 H90-1
NGC 4293 Galaxy Herschel 400 H5-5
NGC 4314 Galaxy Herschel 400 H76-1
NGC 4321 Galaxy M100
NGC 4350 Galaxy Herschel 400 H86-2
- NGC 4340 Galaxy Paired with H86-2
NGC 4382 Galaxy M85
NGC 4394 Galaxy Herschel 400 H55-2 Paired with M85
NGC 4414 Galaxy Herschel 400 H77-1
NGC 4419 Galaxy Herschel 400 H113-1
NGC 4448 Galaxy Herschel 400 H91-1
NGC 4450 Galaxy Herschel 400 H56-2
NGC 4459 Galaxy Herschel 400 H161-1
NGC 4473 Galaxy Herschel 400 H114-2
NGC 4477 Galaxy Herschel 400 H115-2
- NGC4479 Galaxy Paired with H115-2
NGC 4494 Galaxy Herschel 400 H83-1
NGC 4501 Galaxy M88
NGC 4548 Galaxy M91, Herschel 400 H120-2
NGC 4559 Galaxy C36, Herschel 400 H92-1
NGC 4565 Galaxy C38, Herschel 400 H24-5
NGC 4651 Galaxy P222
NGC 4689 Galaxy Herschel 400 H128-2
NGC 4725 Galaxy Herschel 400 H84-1
NGC 4826 Galaxy M64 - Blackeye Galaxy
NGC 4889 Galaxy C35
NGC 5024 Globular Cluster M53
NGC 5053 Globular Cluster P78

 

 

Constellation: Ursa Minor

 

NGC 6217                     Galaxy                          Herschel 400 H280-1

 

 

Constellation: Virgo

NGC 4030 Galaxy Herschel 400 H121-1
NGC 4179 Galaxy Herschel 400 H9-1
NGC 4216 Galaxy Herschel 400 H35-1
NGC 4261 Galaxy Herschel 400 H139-2
- NGC 4264 Galaxy Paired with H139-2
NGC 4273 Galaxy Herschel 400 H569-2
- NGC 4268 Galaxy Paired with H569-2
NGC 4281 Galaxy Herschel 400 H573-2
- NGC 4277 Galaxy Paired with H573-2
NGC 4303 Galaxy M61, Herschel 400 H139-1
NGC 4365 Galaxy Herschel 400 H30-1
NGC 4371 Galaxy Herschel 400 H22-1
NGC 4374 Galaxy M84
NGC 4406 Galaxy M86
NGC 4429 Galaxy Herschel 400 H65-2
NGC 4435 Galaxy Herschel 400 H28.1-1 Eyes of Markarian's Chain (North)
NGC 4438 Galaxy Herschel 400 H28.2-1 Eyes of Markarian's Chain (South)
NGC 4442 Galaxy Herschel 400 H156-2
NGC 4472 Galaxy M49
NGC 4478 Galaxy Herschel 400 H124-2
- NGC 4476 Galaxy Paired with H124-2
NGC 4486 Galaxy M87 Virgo A Galaxy
NGC 4526 Galaxy Herschel 400 H31-1
NGC 4527 Galaxy Herschel 400 H37-2
NGC 4535 Galaxy Herschel 400 H500-2
NGC 4536 Galaxy Herschel 400 H2-5
NGC 4546 Galaxy Herschel 400 H160-1
NGC 4550 Galaxy Herschel 400 H36-1
- NGC 4551 Galaxy Paired with H36-1
NGC 4552 Galaxy M89
NGC 4569 Galaxy M90
NGC 4570 Galaxy Herschel 400 H32-1
NGC 4579 Galaxy M58
NGC 4594 Galaxy M104, Herschel 400 H43-1 Sombrero Galaxy
NGC 4596 Galaxy Herschel 400 H24-1
NGC 4621 Galaxy M59
NGC 4636 Galaxy Herschel 400 H38-2
NGC 4643 Galaxy Herschel 400 H10-1
NGC 4649 Galaxy M60
- NGC 4647 Galaxy Paired with M60
NGC 4654 Galaxy Herschel 400 H126-2
NGC 4660 Galaxy Herschel 400 H71-2
NGC 4665 Galaxy Herschel 400 H142-1
NGC 4666 Galaxy Herschel 400 H15-1
NGC 4697 Galaxy C52, Herschel 400 H39-1
NGC 4698 Galaxy Herschel 400 H8-1
NGC 4699 Galaxy Herschel 400 H129-1
NGC 4753 Galaxy Herschel 400 H16-1
NGC 4754 Galaxy Herschel 400 H25-1 Paired with H75-2
NGC 4762 Galaxy Herschel 400 H75-2 Paired with H25-1
NGC 4781 Galaxy Herschel 400 H134-1
NGC 4845 Galaxy Herschel 400 H536-2
NGC 4856 Galaxy Herschel 400 H68-1
NGC 4866 Galaxy Herschel 400 H162-1
NGC 4900 Galaxy Herschel 400 H143-1
NGC 4958 Galaxy Herschel 400 H130-1
NGC 4995 Galaxy Herschel 400 H42-1
NGC 5054 Galaxy Herschel 400 H513-2
NGC 5068 Galaxy P203
NGC 5247 Galaxy P67
NGC 5363 Galaxy Herschel 400 H6-1 Paired with H534-2
NGC 5364 Galaxy Herschel 400 H534-2 Paired with H6-1
NGC 5566 Galaxy Herschel 400 H144-1
- NGC 5560 Galaxy Paired with H144-1
- NGC 5569 Galaxy Paired with H144-1
NGC 5576 Galaxy Herschel 400 H146-1
NGC 5634 Globular Cluster Herschel 400 H70-1
NGC 5746 Galaxy Herschel 400 H126-1
- NGC 5740 Galaxy Paired with H126-1
NGC 5846 Galaxy Herschel 400 H128-1

 

For more information:

http://hubblesite.org/videos/tonights_sky

https://nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov/planner.cfm

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLTiv_XWHnOZrT_ppDGiT__fI3yjD4t7dI

https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/skyreport

https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/skyreport/whats-new

http://outreach.as.utexas.edu/public/skywatch.html

https://stardate.org/nightsky

http://griffithobservatory.org/sky/skyreport.html

http://www.beckstromobservatory.com/whats-up-in-tonights-sky-2/

http://www2.parkland.edu/planetarium/sky.html

http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/astronomy/nightsky/

http://blogs.cardiff.ac.uk/physicsoutreach/engagement/the-sky-tonight/

http://www.schoolsobservatory.org.uk/learn/astro/nightsky/maps

http://www.caribbeanastronomy.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=30&Itemid=51

https://www.stardome.org.nz/astronomy/star-charts/

  

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