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05/20/2022 – Ephemeris – Spring constellations: Corvus the crow

May 20, 2022 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Friday, May 20th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours even, setting at 9:09, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:08. The Moon, 2 days before last quarter, will rise at 2:23 tomorrow morning.

The small constellation of Corvus the crow is located low in the south at 10:30 this evening. It’s made of 6 dim stars, but the pattern is a distinctive but distorted box with two stars at the upper left marking that corner, and another two marking the lower right corner. I usually don’t notice the extra star at these corners, which denote the wings of this crow in flight to the upper right. To me the box is distinctive enough. It’s pretty much alone below Virgo and its bright star Spica, left an above it. I don’t see a crow here, but the box is distinctive in that no two sides are parallel. In the US we call the shape a trapezium, the British call it a trapezoid. Anyway it is a very memorable shape, at least to me.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EDT, UT – 4 hours). They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Corvus finder animation

Corvus the crow finder animation for 10:30 pm, May 20th. My visualization of the crow flying to the upper right doesn’t match the one the artist drew in this depiction. There’s no right or wrong. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.