NASA has shared skywatching highlights for the month of May, which include a total lunar eclipse, a couple of great planet-spotting opportunities such as the conjunction between Jupiter and Mars and more events.
In mid-May, skywatchers can look forward to a total lunar eclipse in North and South America, as well as Africa and Europe. The visible part of the eclipse will begin on May 15th and the peak will be at 12:11 a.m. on Monday morning, May 16.
Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are safe to look at directly with your eyes, binoculars, or a telescope.
Here’s a summary of other celestial events to watch in May 2022:
Skywatchers will also get a chance to see the Coma star cluster – the second-closest open cluster to Earth after the Hyades cluster in Taurus. The brightest stars in the cluster, which lies about 300 light-years away, form a distinctive Y shape. The Coma star cluster is about 6-degree wide and is located about 15-degree east of the hindquarters of Leo, the lion constellation, which is found high overhead in the south. It’s relatively easy to find with binoculars, even under light-polluted urban skies.
Net up, in the last week of May, you can watch each morning as Jupiter and Mars get increasingly close in the predawn sky. You can watch the planetary conjunction on the 28th through the 30th, where the two planets will be separated by barely the width of the full moon.
It’s gonna be May 💫Another month of skywatching is on the horizon – and we’re in for planet spotting, a conjunction between Jupiter and Mars, and a total eclipse of the Moon! All month long, the Coma star cluster is a great evening target for binoculars. https://t.co/LQVVi3fpIm pic.twitter.com/80P3b6SMbm
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