Supernova for amateur scopes in a northern galaxy. On May 14th amateur Patrick Wiggins discovered a fresh supernova at magnitude 12.8 in NGC 6946, a showpiece galaxy at the Cepheus-Cygnus border. Story and charts: Bright Supernova Discovered in ‘Fireworks Galaxy’ NGC 6946. Update May 18th: Supernova 2017eaw, as it's now named, has brightened by 0.2 magnitude in the last 3½ days — not much.
Friday, May 19
• With the Moon gone from the evening sky, can you see the big Coma Berenices star cluster? Does your light pollution really hide it, or do you just not know exactly where to look? It's 2/5 of the way from Denebola (Leo's tail) to the end of the Big Dipper's handle (Ursa Major's tail).
The cluster's brightest members form an inverted Y. The whole group Is about 5° wide — a big, dim glow to the unaided eye when seen in a dark sky. It nearly fills a binocular view.
Saturday, May 20
• With summer still a month away (astronomically speaking), the last star of the Summer Triangle rises above the eastern horizon around 10 or 11 p.m. That's Altair, the Triangle's lower right corner. Its highest and brightest corner is ...