¡SkyCaramba! Weekly astronomy blog for the week ending May 4, 2013
May evenings start with Venus very low and virtually invisible in the west after sunset. Jupiter is above it and right of Orion. The bright star Sirius is in the southwest for northern hemisphere viewers, further to the north for people viewing farther from the south. Saturn is below and right of the bright star Arcturus in the east.
Venus climbs higher into the sky each night. But for those north of the equator, the later sunrise each day doesn’t help make Venus much more easily visible. The moon passes the planet on the 10th and Jupiter the next two nights.
The last ten evenings of May provide for a dance among three planets as Venus draws close to Jupiter and Mercury joins them from below. On the 26th, they’ll form a triangle. On the 31st, they’ll be in a straight line with Mercury on top, Venus in the middle, and Jupiter below.
For what little we’re able to see Mercury this month, it’s having an interesting May. It’s in conjunction with Mars on the 8th and with the sun on the 11th. On the 16th, it’s in perihelion, ...