Space and Astronomy

Phases Of The Moon

New Moon

First Quarter

Full Moon

Last Quarter

Tuesday May 11
12:00 p.m.

Wednesday May 19
12:13 p.m.

Wednesday May 26
4:14 a.m.

Monday May 3
12:50 p.m.

The Planets and Special Events

A Total Lunar Eclipse occurs in the early morning hours of Wednesday May 26. It begins around 2:45 a.m. and Totality begins at 4:11 a.m. The Moon sets at 5:53 a.m. while still partially eclipsed.

The Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower peaks in the early morning hours of Wednesday May 5. These meteors are made from material shed from Halley's Comet.

Venus (Mag -3.9) begins it's appearance in our evening sky in May. Venus sets at 8:22 p.m. on the 1st.

Jupiter (Mag -2.3) rises at 2:50 a.m. on May 1 and a little earlier each day afterwards.

Mars (Mag +1.7) is halfway up in the western sky at sunset.

Saturn (Mag +0.6) rises at 2:03 a.m. on May 1.

Reprinted with permission, the information above is made available in the Griffith Observer , a monthly publication by the Griffith Observatory. For complete information on the Planets and other items related to Astronomy, please visit the Griffith Observatory Web Site.

Fun Facts

When you hear somebody talk about a celestial object being 30� (or 30 degrees) above the horizon, how in the world do you know how far up that is ? Well, hold your hand out at arms length with your thumb and fingers together, the palm of your hand facing you with the sky behind it. The distance from the edge of the little finger on the bottom of your palm to the edge of your thumb on the top is about 10� (10 degrees). Two palm widths is 20�, three is 30� and so on.

The theory that our Sun is the center of the universe and our planets revolve around it was first documented by Nicolas Copernicus. The interesting thing is that Copernicus was a Catholic Priest and Philosopher, not an Astronomer. But he believed that God would have made the movements of the planets more simple than the previously documented theory (which was very complex). As we know today, Corpernicus was right !

Space and Astronomy Related Links

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