Monthly Notes

May 1, 2022

May 1 is a holiday in Europe. Several years ago, when I was riding my book on Frenchman Charles Messier, the Father of Deep Sky Objects (compiled the first catalogues listing clusters of stars, nebulae and galaxies), I visited his hometown on May Day and did not realize that businesses would be closed. Luckily the bakery shop was open and I loaded up on French desserts. Yes, my eyes were bigger than my stomach—what a letdown!

The planets visible to the naked eye, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are all visible in the east when it is still dark and just before the Sun rises. Since the planets revolve about the Sun on nearly the same plane, these planets are all on a line or arc—it is a pretty sight. Venus and Jupiter are the brightest followed by Mars and Saturn which are about equal in brightness at this time. By September, Saturn and Jupiter will be visible in the evening sky but we have to wait until November to see Mars at which time it will be exceedingly bright because it will be close to Earth (be prepared for any invasion).

The Pleiades or Seven Sisters

The Pleiades sorta looks like a little dipper. It is small in the sky and initially looks like a fuzzy spot to the eyes. Great in binoculars.

What’s Out Tonight? is sponsored by Ken Press, publisher of astronomy books and charts.
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