Southern California Desert Video Astronomers
To educate & promote astronomy in order to preserve the dark skies of the California Desert and everywhere for future generations.
SCDVA, moving the line for dark skies
We start out the month with the Eta Aquarids meteor shower, which will be peaking this Saturday /Sunday evening and early morning, May 4th/5th, 2013.
Generally reaching rates of about 40-85 meteors an hour. They are usually one of the best meteor showers of the year, so make sure that you get out to see them. The good news is, this year the peak will be happening simultaneously with the New Moon, so the sky will be very dark, the perfect environment for watching meteors.
The nights before and for a few days afterwards will also be good for watching. In fact, the Eta Aquarids have actually already begun, if you were to go out tonight you’d probably get a decent show in a dark sky location.
Those in the Southern Hemisphere will get the best show, but the meteor shower will be visible to those in the northern latitudes as well.
The best time for watching will be in the very early morning hours on Sunday May 5th. Sometime in the roughly 4-5 hour period of time before dawn should be the best. The meteors will look like they radiating out from the constellation of Aquarius, specifically the brightest star in the constellation Eta Aquarii, located in the southeastern portion of the sky.
May 10th - Just after sunset it, gets more exciting for stargazers when the planetary trio consisting of Crescent Moon, Venus & Jupiter make their appearance.
Start watching the movements of the planets. You can spot the crescent Moon two degrees from Venus as they set in the west-northwest. It will be easier the next night, May 11, when the Moon has risen higher and is between Jupiter and Venus.
By mid-May, Venus begins to close the distance with Jupiter and Mercury begins to join the pair. Mercury moves faster than Venus and will bypass the planet just before they reach Jupiter. By May 25th the three planets are less than three degrees apart, with Jupiter to the upper left, Mercury to the right, and Venus below. On May 28, Venus will be one degree to the upper right of Jupiter, with Mercury continuing above. The last night of the planetary trio occurs on May 29, as the three are in a line and still within five degrees.
May25th- Is the full Moon and a penumbral lunar eclipse also occurs on the night of the full Moon. A penumbral lunar eclipse is when the moon passes through the penumbra of the earth's shadow but not into the umbra. This is the second of 3 happening this year. Because the Moon only brushes the outer edge of the penumbra, no change to the lunar disk will be visible to stargazers. Kind of a non event, event.
The name of the May Moon is The Full Flower Moon. In most areas, flowers are abundant everywhere during this time. Thus, the name of this Moon. Other names include the Full Corn Planting Moon, or the Milk Moon.
David's new book was released in late September.
David will be scheduling book signing events in the Morongo Basin. Go to his website Out My Windows for future events and to check out the magic of the desert that is captured by
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Last updated May 13, 2013