Fri., May 9 5:28 7:47
Sat., May 10 5:27 7:48
Sun., May 11 5:26 7:49
Mon., May 12 5:25 7:50
Tues., May 13 5:24 7:51
Wed., May 14 5:23 7:53
Thurs., May 15 5:22 7:54
Fri., May 16 5:21 7:55
Tomorrow night’s crescent moon appears high in the southeastern sky, in the zodiacal constellation Cancer. For those with binoculars, this is a chance to look at one of the largest star clusters visible in the night sky. Near the moon you’ll find a bed of stars closely packed together. The area of the star cluster exceeds the apparent size of the moon. The Beehive Cluster name goes back to ancient astronomers staring up at the night sky. The star cluster looks like bees hovering around a cluster.
Compared to other star clusters in the night sky, the Beehive Cluster is one of the closer star clusters, so it looms large in our sky. The cluster is 155 light years away, meaning that light coming from the stars is 155 years old. On a dark moonless night, the cluster looks even better.
The red planet Mars is west of the moon. Mars will pass by the Beehive later in the month.
A one-day-old first quarter moon appears along side the ringed-planet Saturn on Monday night. The two are in the zodiacal constellation Leo, the lion. The bright star Regulus is nearby.
Jupiter, the brightest planet in our night sky, rises late at night. The biggest planet in our solar system rises after midnight. There is no confusing Jupiter. It is very bright and easily outshines all other stars and planets in the night sky.