May 2014 – Stargazing

Can you believe it’s May already!? Well, it is and even though the nights are lighter and shorter there’s still some stargazing to be done as the clouds part overhead. Or, if not at night – gaze up in wonder during the day at the patterns made by the clouds in the sky.

The Night Sky

This image below shows what the night sky looks like on 14th May 2014 at midnight from Glasgow, UK. The sky will look similar at the same time through the month, from much of the UK – the only significant change being that of the Moon’s position (you can click on the image to make it bigger).

The overhead night sky from Glasgow, UK at midnight on 14th May 2014. Made using Stellarium

The overhead night sky from Glasgow, UK at midnight on 14th May 2014. Made using Stellarium

There’s 3 planets visible unaided in the night sky this May by the time it hits midnight – Jupiter, Mars and Saturn. By 10th May, Saturn will be at its closest approach to Earth with its rings and moons visible to those with a telescope. And on the 14th Saturn is very close to the bright, full Moon. Jupiter sets in the West shortly after midnight. Venus rises in the East just before sunrise whilst Mercury is low to the West shortly after sunset.

See ‘shooting stars’ through the month with the Eta Aquarid shower peaking around the 6th May with perhaps around 30 meteors per hour. Then, there’s a chance of a completely new meteor shower astronomers have dubbed, the Camelopardalids (as the appear to come from the direction of the constellation of Camelopardis) around the 24th May. There’s some uncertainty as to just how intense this shower could be – as the Earth hasn’t passed through these particular comet leftovers before which were stripped from Comet 209P/LINEAR as it passed by the Sun in 2009.

 

Astronomy Books

Getting into astronomy? Check out these fantastic books about astronomy which are accessible for all levels and highly recommended.

Sunrise and Sunset times, Glasgow

  • 7th May 2014 – Sunrise 05:21 Sunset 21:07

  • 14th May 2014 – Sunrise 05:07 Sunset 21:21

  • 21st May 2014 – Sunrise 04:55 Sunset 21:33

  • 28th May 2014 – Sunrise 04:45 Sunset 21:45

All the times listed above are local to Glasgow.

Moon Phases

  • First Quarter – 7th May 2014, 04:15

  • Full Moon – 14th May 2014, 20:16

  • Third Quarter – 21st May 2014, 13:59

  • New Moon – 28th May 2014, 21:40

Times listed above are local to Glasgow.

Love your skygazing in May 2014 and look up often!

About Derek Shirlaw

I'm passionate about science communication, social media, and my home country, Scotland. In particular, I have a real interest in astronomy, digital marketing, and the great outdoors.
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