|1st May 2013||6th May 2013||11th May 2013||16th May 2013||21st May 2013||26th May 2013||31st May 2013|
|Sunrise||05:37 BST||05:28 BST||05:19 BST||05:10 BST||05:03 BST||04:56 BST||04:51 BST|
|Sunset||20:42 BST||20:51 BST||20:59 BST||21:08 BST||21:15 BST||21:23 BST||21:29 BST|
|Last Quarter||New Moon||First Quarter||Full Moon||Last Quarter|
|Date||2nd May 2013||10th May 2013||18th May 2013||25th May 2013||31st May 2013|
|Time||12:15 BST||01:29 BST||05:35 BST||05:25 BST||19:59 BST|
Mercury reaches Superior Conjunction (that is, it is behind the Sun as seen from Earth) on the 12th of May and so will not be visible until later in the month, however when it does reappear it joins Venus and Jupiter making a nice sight low in the Western sky just after sunset. The three planets will all sit around the horns of Taurus (although due to the remaining sunlight these stars may not be visible).
|Date||Time (BST)||ALTITUDE °||AZIMUTH °||ALTITUDE °||AZIMUTH °||ALTITUDE °||AZIMUTH °|
|May 21st 2013||21:02 BST||2.3°||309°||2.8°||306°||6.5°||300°|
|May 26th 2013||21:10 BST||5.1°||307°||3.2°||306°||3.6°||305°|
|May 31st 2013||21:18 BST||6.6°||305°||3.5°||307°||0.9°||309°|
The images below show the positions given in the table above (although the times are slightly different, they will be close).
An interesting aspect of this to note is that by the end of the month, Mercury is higher in the sky than Venus.
Venus can be found very low in the Western evening sky after just sunset, becoming easier to locate as the month draws on. An interesting association with Mercury and Jupiter is detailed in Mercury’s entry above.
Mars only passed Solar Conjunction last month, and so is not particularly favourable at the moment.
Jupiter, visible low in the Western evening sky will become more difficult to see as the month progresses and it approaches next month’s Solar Conjunction. See Mercury’s entry for information about its brief association with the planet this month.
Saturn passed Opposition last month, the point at which it is opposite the Sun in our sky, and so is well placed for observation this month. By midnight the planet is is visible towards the South at the edge of the constellation of Virgo (the virgin), passing 2.5° North of Khambalia (λ-Virginis) on May 5th.
Comet C/2011 L4 (Pan-STARRS)
Comet C/2011 L4 (Pan-STARRS) is growing much fainter, although it should still be observable in a small telescope as it passes from the area between Cassiopeia (the Ethiopian queen) and Cepheus (the Ethiopian king) early in the month to the tail of Ursa Minor (the little bear) towards the end of May.
On 14th May 2013, Comet Pan-STARRS passes within ¼° of Errai (γ-Cephei), and by the end of the month will be about 5° from Polaris.
Comet C/2012 F6 (Lemmon)
Comet C/2012 F6 (Lemmon), while not expected to be visible to the naked eye (at least not from urban areas), is moving into the skies of the Northern Hemisphere. By May 15th, it will be rising in the North-East near Algenib (γ-Pegesi), the star to the lower left of the square of Pegasus (the winged horse) at about 02:00 BST. June may be more favourable for observing this comet, as it will be higher in the sky.
|Name of Shower||Date of Peak||Favourability||Notes|
|eta-Aquarids||5th May 2013||Fairly favourable||Expected rates of ~10 meteors/hour.This shower is associated with Halley’s Comet.|
|alpha-Scorpiids||13th May 2013||Favourable||Expected rates of ~5 meteors/hour.2nd Maximum.|