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1986’s Halley’s Comet Makes Its Mark After A Spectacular Crescent Moon: What You Can See In The Night Sky This Week – Forbes

The 4-day-old waxing crescent Moon on April 8, 2019 in a blend of short and long exposures to bring … [+] out the faint Earthshine on the dark side of the Moon and deep blue twilight sky while retaining details in the bright sunlit crescent. This is with the 105mm Traveler refractor and 2X AP Barlow lens for an effective focal length of 1200mm at f/12, and with the cropped-frame Canon 60Da at ISO 400, in a blend of 7 exposures from 1/30 second to 2 seconds, blended with luminosity masks from ADP Pro3 extension panel in Photoshop. (Photo by: Alan Dyer/VWPics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
Each Monday I pick out the northern hemisphere’s celestial highlights (mid-northern latitudes) for the week ahead, but be sure to check my main feed for more in-depth articles on stargazing, astronomy, eclipses and more.
This week is dark. With the New Moon having caused a solar eclipse last weekend it means our satellite will sink soon after sunset, but not before putting on a fabulous display as a crescent. Perfect, then, for a “shooting star” display later this week whose root cause is thought to be Halley’s comet. It’s also a great week for planet-spotting … though mostly only if you can get up early.
However, the week begins with a challenging post-sunset sight of the “Swift Planet” and a super-slim crescent Moon just after sunset. Good luck!
Monday, May 2, 2022: A crescent Moon with Mercury and the Pleiades
Look to the western sky immediately after sunset and you might just get a view of a rare triple conjunction of the planet Mercury, the Pleiades open star cluster (also called the “Seven Sisters”) and a 4%-lit crescent Moon.
They will appear almost in a straight line. Use binoculars if you want to see Mercury and get the finest views possible of the Pleiades as well as of that slim crescent Moon.
Look to the western sky during dusk and you’ll see a beautiful 9%-lit crescent Moon shining. Put a pair of binoculars on it and you’ll see “Earthshine” or “planet-shine,” which is sunlight reflecting off Earth and on to the Moon’s dark half.
The very early hours of today are the best time to see the peak of the Eta Aquarid meteor shower. So keep your eyes peeled (no binoculars or telescope necessary) for its 10-30 fast-moving “shooting stars” per hour (a dark sky will help you see the most), though more will be seen from the southern hemisphere.
The waxing crescent Moon will be 15%-lit, but will have set soon before midnight.
The Eta Aquarid meteor shower is caused by dust and debris being left in the inner Solar System by none other than the famous Halley’s Comet. Although they can appear from anywhere the radiant point for the meteors is the constellation of Aquarius, “The Water Jar” now low in the southeastern night sky. Expect to see “trains’—bright streaks that stay visible for a second or so.
Friday, May 6, 2022: A planetary parade
If you are up before dawn you’ll be rewarded with a lovely view of Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn in the southeastern sky.
Wishing you clear skies and wide eyes.


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