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50 Things to see with a Small Telescope
2017 Guide to the Night Sky

A monthly guide to the night sky in 2017 with star charts, sky calendar, planet data, moon phases, and meteor showers.
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All sky watchers need a planisphere to quickly show the location of stars and constellations for any date and time. Note: Planispheres are designed for specific latitudes so be sure to select one for your latitude.


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A very large 16-inch diameter information-rich planisphere (plastic) for use anywhere between latitude 30° & 60° North. Also available in a Southern Hemisphere edition.
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  Sky Calendar -- May 2017
2 Moon near Beehive cluster (evening sky) at 18h UT.
Beehive Cluster (Wikipedia)
M44: The Beehive Cluster (APOD)
3 First Quarter Moon at 2:47 UT.
4 Moon near Regulus (evening sky) at 10h UT. Occultation visible from Australia and New Zealand.
Occultation of Regulus (IOTA)
5 Mars 6.2° N of Aldebaran (24° from Sun, evening sky) at 22h UT. Mags. 1.6 and 0.8.
6 Eta Aquarid meteor shower peaks at 2h UT. Most active for 7 days around this date. Associated with Comet Halley. Very fast, bright meteors, up to 30 per hour. Favors skywatchers in the tropics and southern hemisphere observing a few hours before dawn.
The Eta Aquarids (Gary Kronk)
Meteor Shower Calendar (American Meteor Society)
7 Moon near Jupiter (evening sky) at 23h UT. Mag. −2.4.
8 Moon near Spica (evening sky) at 17h UT.
10 Full Moon at 21:43 UT.
12 Moon near Antares (morning sky) at 13h UT.
12 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 20h UT (distance 406,210 km; angular size 29.4').
13 Moon near Saturn (morning sky) at 23h UT. Mag. 0.2.
17 Mercury at greatest elongation west (26° from Sun, morning sky) at 23h UT. Mag. 0.6.
19 Last Quarter Moon at 0:34 UT.
20 Moon near Neptune (75° from Sun, morning sky) at 6h UT. Occultation visible from the South Atlantic Ocean. Mag. 7.9.
22 Moon near Venus (morning sky) at 14h UT. Mag. −4.4.
24 Moon near Mercury (25° from Sun, morning sky) at 2h UT. Mag. 0.2.
25 New Moon at 19:45 UT. Start of lunation 1168.
Lunation Number (Wikipedia)
26 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 1:20 UT (357,207 km; angular size 33.5').
27 Moon near Mars (18° from Sun, evening sky) at 3h UT. Mag. 1.7.
30 Moon near Beehive cluster (evening sky) at 1h UT.
Beehive Cluster (Wikipedia)
M44: The Beehive Cluster (APOD)
31 Moon near Regulus (evening sky) at 17h UT. Occultation visible from central Africa and Madagascar.
Occultation of Regulus (IOTA)
All times Universal Time (UT).
  • USA Eastern Summer Time = UT − 4 hours.
  • Australian Eastern Standard Time = UT + 10 hours
  • Singapore Standard Time = UT + 8 hours.

Clear skies till next month!

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