Sunday, May 1, 2011

Washington D.C. Area Sky & Earth Events For May 2011

Hey Space Placers!

Dawn Dance of the Planets

For those of you in the DC area here are our events for May 2011.

You can join me and other astronomers at George Mason University (GMU) Observatory this Wednesday, May 4th at 9 p.m. for our public observing session. Read More About It:

Skywatching Highlights

For the whole month of May FOUR planets will be in the eastern pre-dawn sky – Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter. Each clear morning about 30 minutes before sunrise, it will be worth taking a look at how the planets are changing their positions relative to one another. The only problem is that they will not be very high above the horizon. An unobstructed horizon and binoculars will be needed to see this ongoing celestial dance. Read More About It:

Saturn is well up in the southeastern sky at sunset. The rings are opening wider and are spectacular in a telescope.

New Moon is on the 3rd, First Quarter Moon is on the 10th and this month’s Full Moon occurs on the 17th. This month’s Full Moon is called the “Full Flower Moon” in recognition of the blooming of spring flowers. Last Quarter Moon is on the 24th. Just before dawn the waning crescent Moon passes above Jupiter on the 29th, Mars and Venus on the 30th and Mercury on the 31st.

The International Space Station (ISS) will be easily visible in the evening hours for the first week of May. While it is currently unknown as to when Endeavour will launch, when she does we might be able to watch the two flyover at the same time as they prepare for docking. That would be a sight indeed as this is Endeavour’s last flight. Read More About It:

The eta Aquarid Meteor Shower will peak on the morning of May 6th. These fast – 148,000 mph – space particles are from Halley’s Comet. You won’t see large numbers of meteors but those you do see can be bright with long trails. Read More About It:

Here are our down to Earth events for this month.

Open House at the Department of Astronomy at the University of Maryland, College Park Campus Observatory, will be at 8 p.m. on the 5th and the 20th.
Read More About It:

The National Capital Astronomers (NCA) have their monthly meeting on the 14th at 7:30 p.m. at the University of Maryland, College Park Campus Observatory. The speaker is Dr. Tracy Clarke (NRL), Clusters of Galaxies, the Biggest Bound Objects in the Universe.
Read More About It:

The Northern Virginia Astronomy Club (NOVAC) will meet at 7 p.m. at George Mason University (GMU) on the 1st. The speaker is Art Poland.
Read More About It:

The United States Naval Observatory (USNO) has Monday night tours but space is limited.
Read More About It:

The National Air and Space Museum (NASM) has several space related activities this month.
Read More About It:

The TriState Astronomers General Meeting will be held on the 18th, 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., at the William Brish Planetarium, Commonwealth Ave, Hagerstown, MD.
Read More About It:

The Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) Astronomy Club will meet May 7th, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
Open Observing follows the Astronomy Club meeting (weather permitting). Read More About It:

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