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Kiss the Sky Tonight -- Month of May 2020

Posted by Guy Pirro   05/05/2020 12:48AM

Kiss the Sky Tonight -- Month of May 2020

Easily identified by the spectacular band of absorbing dust partially obscuring its bright nucleus, M64 (NGC 4826), or the Black Eye galaxy, is characterized by its bizarre internal motion. The gas in the outer regions of this remarkable galaxy is rotating in the opposite direction from the gas and stars in its inner regions. This strange behavior can be attributed to a merger between M64 and a satellite galaxy over a billion years ago. New stars are forming in the region where the oppositely rotating gases collide, are compressed, and then contract. Particularly noticeable in this stunning Hubble image of the galaxy’s core are hot, blue stars that have just formed, along with pink clouds of glowing hydrogen gas that fluoresce when exposed to ultraviolet light from newly formed stars. M64 was discovered by the English astronomer Edward Pigott. It is located 17 million lightyears from Earth in the constellation Coma Berenices and is best observed in May. With an apparent magnitude of 9.8, the Black Eye galaxy can be spotted with a moderately sized telescope. [Video Credits: NASA, JPL – Caltech, and the Office of Public Outreach – STScI] [Image Credit: NASA and the Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI), Acknowledgment S. Smartt (Institute of Astronomy) and D. Richstone (U. Michigan)]

 


 

Kiss the Sky Tonight -- Month of May 2020

Welcome to the night sky report for May 2020 -- Your guide to the constellations, deep sky objects, planets, and celestial events that are observable during the month. In May, we are looking away from the crowded, dusty plane of our own galaxy, toward a region where the sky is brimming with distant galaxies. Locate Virgo to find a concentration of roughly 2000 galaxies. Then search for Coma Berenices to identify many more. The night sky is truly a celestial showcase. Get outside and explore its wonders from your own backyard.

Pleasant spring evenings are ideal for tracing the legendary patterns of the night sky.

Find the pattern of the Big Dipper -- part of Ursa Major, the Great Bear. Trace past the curve of the Big Dipper’s handle, down through the bright orange star Arcturus, and continue until you come to another bright star, Spica. Spica is actually a pair of massive blue-white stars. Spica anchors the constellation Virgo, which dominates the southern sky in May.

 

 

 

Facing Virgo, we are looking away from the crowded, dusty plane of our own galaxy. In this direction, we have a less obstructed view of the deeper universe, which is brimming with other galaxies.

One of these is a lenticular, or lens-shaped, galaxy known as the Sombrero. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope provides a detailed view of the dark lanes of dust ringing the Sombrero Galaxy’s bright core.

Just above the Y-shape in Virgo is a concentration of roughly 2000 galaxies known as the Virgo Cluster. One of the largest of these is M87, a giant elliptical galaxy with trillions of stars and a supermassive black hole in its core. The black hole is emitting a jet of material.

An image from a ground-based radio observatory shows that the jet shines very brightly in radio light. The radio image also shows a turbulent cloud -- evidence for a second jet, firing in the opposite direction.

Next to Virgo lies the constellation Coma Berenices, or Bernice’s hair. Tangled in Bernice’s locks are many other distant galaxies, among them the spiral galaxy M64. M64 is also known as the Black Eye Galaxy for the dark area in its disk. Hubble images show that the dark region is a large band of dust spinning in the opposite direction of the inner regions, likely as a result of a collision in the galaxy’s past.

 

 

 

Back toward the handle of the Big Dipper sits the small pattern of Canes Venatici, the hunting dogs. Within the boundaries of this constellation, just below the end star of the Dipper’s handle, telescopes find another faint swirl of light -- M51. Hubble shows M51 as a spectacular face-on spiral, the Whirlpool Galaxy, along with a companion galaxy. An X-ray image of the companion reveals shock waves caused by outbursts from a supermassive black hole.

Explore the wonders of the May sky, with its familiar patterns, legendary figures, and glittering galaxies. 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: 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 Black Eye Galaxy

NGC 4889                    Galaxy                         C35

NGC 5024                    Globular Cluster          M53

NGC 5053                    Globular Cluster          P78

 

Constellation: Canes Venatici

NGC 4111                 Galaxy                                    Herschel 400 H195-1

NGC 4143                 Galaxy                                    Herschel 400 H54-4

NGC 4151                 Galaxy                                    Herschel 400 H165-1

     - 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 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: Ursa Major

Messier 40                  Double Star                 M40 Winnecke 4

IC 2574                        Galaxy                         P121 Coddington’s Dwarf Galaxy

NGC 2681                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H242-1

NGC 2742                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H249-1

NGC 2768                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H250-1

NGC 2787                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H216-1

NGC 2841                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H205-1

NGC 2950                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H68-4

NGC 2976                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H285-1

NGC 2985                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H78-1

     - NGC 3027             Galaxy                              - Paired with H78-1

NGC 3031                    Galaxy                         M81 – Bode’s Galaxy

NGC 3034                    Galaxy                         M82, Herschel 400 H79-4 Cigar Galaxy

NGC 3077                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H286-1

NGC 3079                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H47-5

NGC 3184                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H168-1

NGC 3198                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H199-1

NGC 3310                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H60-4

NGC 3556                    Galaxy                         M108 Herschel 400 H46-5

NGC 3359                    Galaxy                         P202

NGC 3587                    Planetary Nebula        M97 Owl Nebula

NGC 3610                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H270-1

NGC 3613                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H271-1 Paired with H244-1

NGC 3619                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H244-1 Paired with H271-1

NGC 3631                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H226-1

NGC 3665                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H219-1

     - NGC 3658             Galaxy                              - Paired with H219-1

NGC 3675                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H194-1

NGC 3726                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H730-2

NGC 3729                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H222-1

     - NGC 3718             Galaxy                              - Paired with H222-1

NGC 3813                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H94-1

NGC 3877                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H201-1

NGC 3893                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H738-2

     - NGC 3896             Galaxy                              - Paired with H738-2

NGC 3898                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H228-1

NGC 3938                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H203-1

NGC 3941                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H173-1

NGC 3945                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H251-1

NGC 3949                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H202-1

NGC 3953                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H45-5

NGC 3982                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H62-4

NGC 3992                    Galaxy                         M109, Herschel 400 H61-4

NGC 3998                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H229-1

     - NGC 3990             Galaxy                              - Paired with H229-1

NGC 4026                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H223-1

NGC 4036                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H253-1 Paired with H252-1

NGC 4041                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H252-1 Paired with H253-1

NGC 4051                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H56-4

NGC 4085                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H224-1 Paired with H206-1

NGC 4088                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H206-1 Paired with H224-1

NGC 4102                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H225-1

NGC 4605                    Galaxy                         P252

NGC 5322                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H256-1

NGC 5457                    Galaxy                         M101 Pinwheel Galaxy

NGC 5474                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H214-1 Paired with M101

NGC 5473                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H231-1

NGC 5631                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H236-1

 

 Constellation: Ursa Minor

NGC 6217                    Galaxy                         Herschel 400 H280-1

 

For more information:

Northern Latitudes:

http://hubblesite.org/videos/tonights_sky

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

https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/whats-up-skywatching-tips-from-nasa/

https://www.youtube.com/user/JPLnews/search?query=What’s+Up

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

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

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

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

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

https://www.parkland.edu/Audience/Community-Business/Parkland-Presents/Planetarium/Educational-Resources/Tonights-Sky

https://www.fairbanksmuseum.org/planetarium/eye-on-the-night-sky

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

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

https://www.astromart.com/news/search?category_id=3&q=kiss+the+sky&from=&to

 

Equatorial Latitudes:

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

 

Southern Latitudes:

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

 

Astromart News Archives:

https://www.astromart.com/news/search?category_id=3&q=.

 

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