By Heather Durham | April 28, 2023
Hey there, everyone! Ready for this month’s adventures? This month, I’m beginning with a few words about the new or even occasionally referred to as the black Moon … when the night sky is at its darkest. May 19 is the date of the new Moon this month.
During a new moon in New Hampshire, the night sky is at its darkest, making it an excellent time to spot stars and planets. You can look for constellations like the Big Dipper and Orion, as well as bright stars like Sirius and Vega. On nights with clear skies, you might even be able to see the Milky Way, a beautiful band of light created by the billions of stars in our galaxy. The new moon also provides a perfect backdrop for observing planets like Venus and Mars, which shine brightly and are easy to spot with the naked eye.
Now, let’s explore the exciting celestial events happening in May:
May 3. Venus, the dazzling evening star. On May 3rd, Venus will be at its highest altitude in the evening sky, making it shine brighter than ever. Look up to see this beautiful, bright planet lighting up the sky.
May 5. Full Flower Moon, a blooming beauty. The Full Flower Moon on May 5th gets its name because of the many flowers that bloom in May. Watch as the moon lights up the night sky with its full, round shape.
May 6. η-Aquarid Meteor Shower, a sky full of wishes. On May 6th, the η-Aquarid meteor shower will put on a dazzling display. Gaze at the sky to see lots of shooting stars, and remember to make a wish for each one you see!
May 9. η-Aquarid Meteor Shower, more twinkling wonders. The η-Lyrid meteor shower on May 9th will bring more shooting stars to the sky. Keep making wishes and enjoy the sparkling show!
May 12. Last Quarter Moon, a half-lit wonder. On May 12th, the Moon will be at its last quarter, meaning half of it will be illuminated. Observe the half-bright moon and see if you can spot any differences from its other phases.
May 13. Moon and Saturn, a cosmic friendship. The Moon and Saturn will rise together on May 13th, appearing close and forming a celestial pair. Watch these two cosmic friends as they journey through the night sky.
May 23. Moon and Venus, a sky-high playdate. On May 23rd, the Moon and Venus will rise together towards the right, looking like they’re having a fun playdate in the sky. See if you can spot this friendly duo.
May 24. Moon and Mars, a bright and bold meeting. On May 24th, the Moon and Mars will rise together towards the right. Keep an eye out for Mars, the Red Planet, looking like a bright, fiery dot next to the Moon.
May 27. First Quarter Moon, another half-lit adventure. On May 27th, the Moon will be at its first quarter, meaning half of it will be illuminated again. Compare this phase to the last quarter and see if you can spot any differences.
May 29. Mercury’s big day in the sky. On May 29th, Mercury will be at its greatest distance from the Sun, which is called “greatest elongation west.” Look for this tiny, bright dot shining in the evening sky.
Ford, D.F. (n.d.). April 2023. Retrieved from in-the-sky.org