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    Articles > May 2008
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The Night Sky Companion

by Tammy Plotner

A day-by-day guide to skywatching in 2008-2009. Will appeal to readers at all skill levels.
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Celstron SkyMaster Giant
15x70 Binoculars

(with tripod adaptor)

You will be amazed at the celestial objects you can view with a good pair of binoculars. The Celestron SkyMaster15x70 binoculars are an excellent, low-cost choice for the urban skywatcher.
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  Sky Calendar -- May 2008
2 Mercury 2° from the Pleiades at 23h UT (17° from Sun, evening sky).
3 Saturn 2.2° from Regulus at 22h UT (evening sky). Mags +0.6 and +1.4. This is the nearest Saturn will be to Regulus.
5 New Moon at 12:18 UT. Start of lunation 1056.
5 Eta Aquarid meteor shower peaks at 18h UT. Active from April 19 to May 28. Very fast, bright meteors, up to 10-20 per hour. Favors skywatchers in the tropics and southern hemisphere.
Meteor Shower Calendar 2008 (IMO)
6 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 3h UT (357,771 km; 33.4').
6 Moon near the Pleiades at 11h UT (evening sky).
10 Moon near Pollux at 1h UT (evening sky).
10 Moon very near Mars at 14h UT (evening sky). Mag. +1.3. Occultation visible from southwest Asia, northern Africa, and Europe (daytime).
Occultation of Mars (IOTA)
11 Moon near Beehive cluster (M44) at 2h UT (evening sky).
12 First Quarter Moon at 3:47 UT.
12 Moon near Regulus at 19h UT (evening sky).
12 Moon near Saturn at 22h UT (evening sky). Mag. +0.6.
14 Mercury at greatest elongation, 22° east from Sun (evening sky) at 4h UT. Mag. +0.5, low in the west-northwest 45 minutes after sunset.
17 Moon near Spica at 3h UT (evening sky).
20 Full Moon at 2:11 UT. The full Moon of May is called the "Planting Moon" or "Milk Moon".
Full Moon Names (Wikipedia)
20 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 14h UT (distance 406,403 km; angular size 29.4').
20 Moon very near Antares at 23h UT (morning sky). Occultation visible from eastern South America and southern Africa.
Occultation of Antares (IOTA)
23 Mars 0.28° from Beehive cluster (M44) at 13h UT (evening sky).
24 Moon near Jupiter at 12h UT (morning sky). Mag. -2.5.
28 Last Quarter Moon at 2:57 UT.
All times Universal Time (UT). USA Eastern Summer Time = UT - 4 hours.

Clear skies till next month!

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