May Astronomy

The waxing Moon slides through Virgo, which is home to Jupiter through this Summer.

The waxing Moon slides through Virgo, which is home to Jupiter through this Summer.

May 1, 2017| Categories: Eye on the Sky, Planetarium News, Skywatch Almanac Astronomy, StarGazing

May welcomes the return of some of the brighter summer stars, including Vega in the northeast, and Antares in the southeast.  Leo the Lion prowls the southern skies through the month, with its bright star Regulus, while late in the month, the Summer Triangle begins its annual display, rising in the east.  But presiding over everything is the King of the Planets, Jupiter, crossing the southern skies each evening.  Mars is disappearing into the evening twilight, while Venus slowly emerges from the morning twilight.  Saturn returns to the evening skies by the end of the month.


4-6 – The Eta Aquarid meteors sprinkle remnants of Halley’s Comet in the hours after midnight.

7 – The waxing Gibbous Moon nearly overwhelms Jupiter to its right (see above), accompanied by the star Spica below.

22 – Early risers will be rewarded with a fine pairing of the waning Crescent Moon to the lower left of Venus, due east near 4 o’clock, climbing higher but fading in the brightening twilight of dawn by 4:30 AM.

30 – A fat Crescent Moon appears in the west to the right of Regulus, the brightest star in Leo.


In most areas, flowers are abundant everywhere during this time. Thus, the name of this Moon. Other names include the Full Corn Planting Moon, or the Milk Moon.

First Quarter: May 2

Full “Flower” Moon: May 10

Last Quarter: May 18

New Moon: May 25

Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium Schedule



Tags: astronomy, Eye on the Night Sky, Fairbanks Museum, Mark Breen Skywatch