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
Brilliant Venus in west from dusk until late evening. Fading into the glare of sunset is Mars. Jupiter still shines bright from dusk until just after midnight. Saturn makes its debut from nightfall until dawn and Mercury at dusk, sets around nightfall.
May 3-4 Full Flower Moon
The Full Flower Moon of May 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.
US time zones, that means the moon turns full this evening, on May 3, at 11:42 p.m. EDT, 10:42 p.m. CDT, 9:42 p.m. MDT or 8:42 p.m. PDT.
May 6th The Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower
This meteor shower has a relatively broad maximum – meaning you can watch it for several days around the predicted peak.
However, in 2015, the bright, nearly full moon is sure to diminish the numbers. The radiant is near the star Eta in the constellation Aquarius the Water Bearer. The source being Haleys Comet, this shower is said to be active from April 19 to May 20, although Earth goes more deeply into this stream of comet debris around May 5 or 6.
May 7th, Mercury at Greatest Elongation
On Thursday the 7th is the best evening apparition of Mercury this year for observers in the northern hemisphere. You can use Venus to help you locate it. Mercury is most easily found by using a sweeping action with binoculars, but once you've found it, you should be able to see it with your naked eyes.
May 18 - New Moon.
The Moon is new because it is located on the same side of the Earth as the Sun, and that is why it is not visible in the night sky.
This phase occurs at 04:13 UTC. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.
May 23rd - Saturn is closest, brightest, opposite the sun
According to Earthsky,
On May 23rd, the opposition. This is when the ringed planet at its closest to Earth and will shine at its brightest. Saturn is the faintest of the bright planets. Saturn shines a touch brighter than Antares, the brightest star in the constellation Scorpius.
Because we will pass Saturn – the sixth planet outward from the sun – from an inside track around the sun, the ringed planet will look as if it’s going backward (retrograde) in front of the fixed stars of the Zodiac for several months. In 2015, Saturn retrogrades (moves away from Antares and the Crown of the Scorpion) from March 14 until August 2.
Check out the
Joshua Tree Astronomy Arts Theater
for further & future details
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Or mail your donation to
P.O. Box 2192
Joshua Tree Ca. 92252
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Last updated May 3, 2015