The Night Sky in May 2014
This month sees a glut of amazing stargazing sights in the night sky, even as the days lengthen towards summer.
Saturn is coming to opposition this month (10 May) meaning it shines in the sky all night long throughout the month. A small telescope (even a pair of binoculars on a tripod) will show Saturn’s beautiful rings and one of its moons.
Mars is even brighter than Saturn, shining a soft orange colour in the constellation of Virgo, near the bright star Spica.
Jupiter is still an evening object although it sets in the west around 1am.
There’s the possibility of a spectacular new meteor shower on 23/34 May as the Earth passes through the dust trail of comet 209P/Linear.
And May sees the start of the noctilucent cloud season, where these elusive high-altitude begin to shine in deep twilight.
Full moon this month is on 14 May, when the Moon will sit near Saturn.