Home > Ephemeris Program, Month preview > 04/30/2015 – Ephemeris – Previewing May skies

04/30/2015 – Ephemeris – Previewing May skies

April 30, 2015

Ephemeris for Thursday, April 30th.  Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 11 minutes, setting at 8:46.   The Moon, 3 days before full, will set at 5:26 tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow the Sun will rise at 6:33.

Let’s look ahead at the month of May, the month when the promise of spring is finally fulfilled.  Daylight hours in the Interlochen/Traverse City area will increase from 14 hours and 14 minutes Tomorrow to 15 hours 19 minutes on the 31st.  The altitude, or angle, of the sun above the southern horizon at local noon will ascend from 60 degrees tomorrow to 67 degrees at month’s end.  The altitude of the sun in the Straits area will be a degree lower than that.  Local apparent noon this month, when the sun passes due south, will be about 1:38 p.m.  Early this month we’ll have Mercury visible briefly low in the west after sunset.  The rest of the bright planets except Mars will also be visible before midnight.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan.  They may be different for your location.


May 2015 Star Chart

Star Chart for April 2015. Created using my LookingUp program.

The Moon is not plotted.  The planets and stars are plotted for the 15th at 11 p.m. EDT.  That is chart time.

Evening Astronomical twilight ends at 10:44 p.m. EDT on May 1st, increasing to 11:41 p.m. EDT on the 31st.

Morning astronomical twilight starts at 4:37 a.m. EDT on May 1st, and decreasing to 3:40 a.m. EDT on the 31st.

Add a half hour to the chart time every week before the 15th and subtract and hour for every week after the 15th.

For a list of constellation names to go with the abbreviations click here.

The green pointer from the Big Dipper is:

  • Pointer stars at the front of the bowl of the Big Dipper point to Polaris the North Star.
  • Drill a hole in the bowl of the Big Dipper and the water will drip on the back of Leo the Lion.
  • Follow the arc of the Big Dipper’s handle to Arcturus
    • Continue with a spike to Spica

Calendar of Planetary Events

Credit:  Sky Events Calendar by Fred Espenak and Sumit Dutta (NASA’s GSFC)

To generate your own calendar go to http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SKYCAL/SKYCAL.html

Times are Eastern Daylight Time on a 24 hour clock.  Some additions made to aid clarity.

Conjunctions like the Moon-Saturn: 2.3° S means Saturn will appear 2.3° south of the Moon.
May 01 Fr 05:50 Moon Ascending Node
01 Fr Venus: 42.1° E
03 Su 23:42 Full Moon
05 Tu 08:36 Eta Aquarid Shower: ZHR = 60
05 Tu 12:18 Moon-Saturn: 2.1° S
07 Th 00:59 Mercury Elongation: 21.2° E
07 Th 09:39 Moon South Dec.: 18.3° S
11 Mo 06:36 Last Quarter
14 Th 16:37 Moon Descending Node
14 Th 20:23 Moon Perigee: 366000 km
18 Mo 00:13 New Moon
20 We 05:41 Moon North Dec.: 18.4° N
22 Fr 20:53 Saturn Opposition
25 Mo 13:19 First Quarter
26 Tu 18:12 Moon Apogee: 404200 km
28 Th 10:40 Moon Ascending Node
29 Fr 13:30 Venus-Pollux: 4° S
30 Sa 12:53 Mercury Inferior Conj.
Jun 01 Mo Venus: 45.3° E
  1. Sharon Fidler
    April 30, 2015 at 12:43 pm

    I’m a beginning skywatcher in TC and I really like this site. Thank you!

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