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Highlights of the May Sky

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Here are some of the highlights of the night sky in May:

  • 9 PM eastern sky – Saturn and Mars staying in the sky from nightfall until the early morning hours, with Saturn making its closest approach to Earth on May 10
  • 9 PM western sky – Mercury above the horizon after sunset, Jupiter visible above Mercury
  • 5:30 AM eastern sky – Venus rising before the Sun
  • 10 PM southern sky – Virgo constellation filling the sky in the evening, with the Virgo Cluster of galaxies and the Sombrero Galaxy (Messier 104) among other prominent deep sky objects
  • 10 PM southern sky – Coma Berenices, with the spiral galaxy Messier 64 (the Black Eye Galaxy), visible above Virgo
  • 10 PM southeastern sky – Canes Venatici constellation, the Hunting Dogs, with the bright star Cor Caroli and the famous face-on spiral galaxy Messier 51 (the Whirlpool Galaxy)
  • 3 AM eastern sky – the Eta Aquariids, the meteor shower associated with Halley’s Comet, near the star Eta Aquarii in Aquarius constellation, peaking on the night from May 5 to 6, with up to 10 meteors per hour visible in the sky
  • 3 AM northern sky – unnamed meteor shower visible in late May as the Earth goes through the debris trails left by the comet 209P/LINEAR, with 100 or more meteors per hour visible in the direction of Camelopardalis constellation, before dawn on May 24

Related: May constellations