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05/01/2020 – Ephemeris – Previewing May Skies

May 1, 2020 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Friday, May 1st. Today the Sun will be up for 14 hours and 16 minutes, setting at 8:48, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:30. The Moon, 1 day past first quarter, will set at 4:22 tomorrow morning.

May is the month when the promise of spring is finally fulfilled. Daylight hours in the Interlochen/Traverse City area will increase from 14 hours and 16 minutes today to 15 hours 20 minutes on the 31st. The altitude, or angle, of the Sun above the southern horizon at local noon will ascend from 60 degrees today to 67 degrees at month’s end. The altitude of the sun in the Straits area will be a degree lower than that but your daylight hours will be a few minutes longer. Venus will end up too close to the Sun to be seen at month’s end, but before then its thin crescent can even be seen in binoculars. Mercury will make an appearance in the evening sky and will appear near Venus on the 22nd. They will be low in the west-northwest in evening twilight.

The event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

May Evening Star Chart

May Evening Star Chart

Star Chart for May 2020 (11 p.m. EDT May 15, 2020). Created using my LookingUp program. Click on image to enlarge.

The planets and stars are plotted for the 15th at 11 p.m. EDT in the evening and 5 a.m. for the morning chart. These are the chart times. Note that Traverse City is located approximately 45 minutes behind our time meridian, West 75° longitude. (An hour 45 minutes behind our daylight saving time meridian during EDT). To duplicate the star positions on a planisphere you may have to set it to 1 hour 45 minutes earlier than the current time.
Note the chart times of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. are for the 15th. For each week before the 15th add ½ hour (28 minutes if you’re picky). For each week after the 15th subtract ½ hour, or 28 minutes. The planet positions are updated each Wednesday on this blog. For planet positions on dates other than the 15th, check the Wednesday planet posts on this blog for weekly positions.

May Morning Star Chart

May Morning Star Chart

Star Chart for May mornings 2020 (5 a.m. EDT May 15, 2020). Created using my LookingUp program. Click on image to enlarge.

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

  • Pointer stars at the front of the bowl of the Big Dipper point to Polaris the North Star.
  • Leaky dipper drips on Leo
  • Follow the arc of the handle of the Big Dipper to the star Arcturus, and
  • Extend like a spike to Spica,
  • EaqR is the radiant of the Aquariid meteor shower that peaks on the 5th.  Best viewing is before the peak this year due to the bright Moon.

Twilight Limits, Nautical and Astronomical

      EDT        
  Morning twilight Evening twilight Dark night Moon
Date Astro. Nautical Nautical Astro. Start End Illum.
2020-05-01 4h39m 5h24m 22h03m 22h47m 3h48m 4h39m 0.63
2020-05-02 4h37m 5h22m 22h04m 22h49m 4h22m 4h37m 0.74
2020-05-03 4h35m 5h20m 22h06m 22h51m 0.84
2020-05-04 4h33m 5h19m 22h07m 22h53m 0.92
2020-05-05 4h31m 5h17m 22h09m 22h55m 0.92
2020-05-06 4h29m 5h15m 22h11m 22h57m 0.98
2020-05-07 4h27m 5h14m 22h12m 22h59m 1
2020-05-08 4h24m 5h12m 22h14m 23h01m 0.99
2020-05-09 4h22m 5h10m 22h15m 23h03m 23h03m 23h56m 0.95
2020-05-10 4h20m 5h09m 22h17m 23h05m 23h05m 0.89
2020-05-11 4h18m 5h07m 22h18m 23h07m 23h07m 0h58m 0.81
2020-05-12 4h16m 5h06m 22h20m 23h09m 23h09m 1h51m 0.71
2020-05-13 4h14m 5h04m 22h21m 23h11m 23h11m 2h34m 0.61
2020-05-14 4h12m 5h02m 22h23m 23h13m 23h13m 3h08m 0.51
2020-05-15 4h10m 5h01m 22h24m 23h15m 23h15m 3h36m 0.41
2020-05-16 4h08m 5h00m 22h26m 23h17m 23h17m 4h01m 0.31
2020-05-17 4h06m 4h58m 22h27m 23h19m 23h19m 4h06m 0.23
2020-05-18 4h05m 4h57m 22h29m 23h21m 23h21m 4h05m 0.15
2020-05-19 4h03m 4h55m 22h30m 23h23m 23h23m 4h03m 0.09
2020-05-20 4h01m 4h54m 22h32m 23h25m 23h25m 4h01m 0.04
2020-05-21 3h59m 4h53m 22h33m 23h27m 23h27m 3h59m 0.01
2020-05-22 3h57m 4h52m 22h35m 23h29m 23h29m 3h57m 0
2020-05-23 3h56m 4h50m 22h36m 23h31m 23h31m 3h56m 0.01
2020-05-24 3h54m 4h49m 22h37m 23h33m 23h33m 3h54m 0.04
2020-05-25 3h52m 4h48m 22h39m 23h34m 3h52m 0.1
2020-05-26 3h51m 4h47m 22h40m 23h36m 0h18m 3h51m 0.17
2020-05-27 3h49m 4h46m 22h41m 23h38m 1h08m 3h49m 0.26
2020-05-28 3h48m 4h45m 22h42m 23h40m 1h50m 3h48m 0.37
2020-05-29 3h46m 4h44m 22h44m 23h42m 2h25m 3h46m 0.48
2020-05-30 3h45m 4h43m 22h45m 23h43m 2h56m 3h45m 0.6
2020-05-31 3h43m 4h42m 22h46m 23h45m 3h23m 3h43m 0.72

The twilight calendar was generated using Cartes du Ciel (Sky Charts), with some corrections.

See my blog post: Twilight Zone for the definitions of the different periods of twilight here: https://bobmoler.wordpress.com/2018/09/27/.

NASA Calendar of Planetary Events

May 1  Fr            Venus: 38° E
    5  Mo  03:00 am  Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower: ZHR = 60
    4  Mo  05:22 pm  Mercury Superior Solar Conjunction
    5  Tu  11:03 pm  Moon Perigee: 359700 km
    7  Th  06:45 am  Full Moon
   10  Su  05:01 am  Moon Descending Node
   11  Mo  02:13 am  Moon South Dec.: 24° S
   12  Tu  05:40 am  Moon-Jupiter: 2.4° N
   12  Tu  02:18 pm  Moon-Saturn: 2.8° N
   14  Th  10:03 am  Last Quarter
   14  Th  10:01 pm  Moon-Mars: 3° N
   18  Mo  03:45 am  Moon Apogee: 405600 km
   22  Fr  05:37 am  Mercury-Venus: 0.9° N
   22  Fr  01:39 pm  New Moon
   23  Sa  10:40 pm  Moon-Venus: 4° N
   24  Su  06:53 am  Moon-Mercury: 3° N
   24  Su  05:34 pm  Moon Ascending Node
   25  Mo  05:16 pm  Moon North Dec.: 24.1° N
   27  We  02:44 pm  Moon-Beehive: 1.8° S
   29  Fr  11:30 pm  First Quarter
Jun 1  Mo            Venus: 3.7° E

All event times are given for UTC-4 hr: Daylight Saving Time.

Sky Events Calendar by Fred Espenak and Sumit Dutta (NASA’s GSFC),
http://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SKYCAL/SKYCAL.html.

If you go to the above site you can print out a list like the above for the entire year or calendar pages for your time zone.

Sun and Moon Rising and Setting Events

LU Ephemeris of Sky Events for Interlochen/TC

May, 2020    Local time zone: EDT
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
| DATE |  SUN     SUN  DAYLIGHT|   TWILIGHT*    |MOON  RISE OR    ILLUM |
|      |  RISE    SET    HOURS |  END    START  |PHASE SET** TIME FRACTN|
+=======================================================================+
|Fri  1| 06:32a  08:48p  14:16 | 10:00p  05:19a |      Set  04:22a   63%|
|Sat  2| 06:30a  08:49p  14:19 | 10:02p  05:18a |      Set  04:52a   73%|
+------+-----------------------+----------------+-----------------------+
|Sun  3| 06:29a  08:50p  14:21 | 10:04p  05:16a |      Set  05:20a   83%|
|Mon  4| 06:27a  08:52p  14:24 | 10:05p  05:14a |      Set  05:47a   91%|
|Tue  5| 06:26a  08:53p  14:26 | 10:07p  05:12a |      Set  06:15a   97%|
|Wed  6| 06:25a  08:54p  14:29 | 10:08p  05:11a |      Set  06:46a  100%|
|Thu  7| 06:23a  08:55p  14:32 | 10:10p  05:09a |Full  Rise 09:26p   99%|
|Fri  8| 06:22a  08:56p  14:34 | 10:11p  05:07a |      Rise 10:43p   97%|
|Sat  9| 06:21a  08:58p  14:36 | 10:13p  05:06a |      Rise 11:55p   91%|
+------+-----------------------+----------------+-----------------------+
|Sun 10| 06:19a  08:59p  14:39 | 10:14p  05:04a |      Rise 12:58a   84%|
|Mon 11| 06:18a  09:00p  14:41 | 10:16p  05:02a |      Rise 01:51a   75%|
|Tue 12| 06:17a  09:01p  14:44 | 10:18p  05:01a |      Rise 02:33a   66%|
|Wed 13| 06:16a  09:02p  14:46 | 10:19p  04:59a |      Rise 03:08a   56%|
|Thu 14| 06:15a  09:03p  14:48 | 10:21p  04:58a |L Qtr Rise 03:36a   46%|
|Fri 15| 06:14a  09:04p  14:50 | 10:22p  04:56a |      Rise 04:01a   36%|
|Sat 16| 06:12a  09:06p  14:53 | 10:24p  04:55a |      Rise 04:23a   28%|
+------+-----------------------+----------------+-----------------------+
|Sun 17| 06:11a  09:07p  14:55 | 10:25p  04:53a |      Rise 04:43a   20%|
|Mon 18| 06:10a  09:08p  14:57 | 10:27p  04:52a |      Rise 05:04a   13%|
|Tue 19| 06:09a  09:09p  14:59 | 10:28p  04:51a |      Rise 05:25a    7%|
|Wed 20| 06:08a  09:10p  15:01 | 10:29p  04:49a |      Rise 05:49a    3%|
|Thu 21| 06:08a  09:11p  15:03 | 10:31p  04:48a |      Rise 06:16a    1%|
|Fri 22| 06:07a  09:12p  15:05 | 10:32p  04:47a |New   Set  09:16p    0%|
|Sat 23| 06:06a  09:13p  15:07 | 10:34p  04:46a |      Set  10:20p    2%|
+------+-----------------------+----------------+-----------------------+
|Sun 24| 06:05a  09:14p  15:09 | 10:35p  04:44a |      Set  11:22p    5%|
|Mon 25| 06:04a  09:15p  15:10 | 10:36p  04:43a |      Set  12:18a   11%|
|Tue 26| 06:03a  09:16p  15:12 | 10:38p  04:42a |      Set  01:07a   18%|
|Wed 27| 06:03a  09:17p  15:14 | 10:39p  04:41a |      Set  01:49a   27%|
|Thu 28| 06:02a  09:18p  15:15 | 10:40p  04:40a |      Set  02:25a   37%|
|Fri 29| 06:01a  09:19p  15:17 | 10:41p  04:39a |F Qtr Set  02:55a   48%|
|Sat 30| 06:01a  09:20p  15:18 | 10:43p  04:38a |      Set  03:23a   60%|
+------+-----------------------+----------------+-----------------------+
|Sun 31| 06:00a  09:20p  15:20 | 10:44p  04:37a |      Set  03:49a   71%|
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------+
* Nautical Twilight
** Moonrise or moonset, whichever occurs between sunrise and sunset