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    Articles > May 2023
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Guide to the Night Sky 2023
2023 Guide to the Night Sky

A monthly guide to the night sky in 2023 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.

Guide to the Stars

(5th Edition, Jan. 2013)
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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The Night Sky Planisphere

A very popular 8-inch diameter, two-sided planisphere (plastic) designed to depict the night sky with less distortion than regular planispheres. Available for several latitudes, and in a smaller 5-inch edition.
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• Only $11.95 •

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Night Sky Editions
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Latitude 30° to 40° North
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  Sky Calendar -- May 2023
1 Mercury at inferior conjunction with the Sun at 23h UT. The innermost planet passes into the morning sky.
4 Moon near Spica at 5h UT (evening sky).
Spica (Wikipedia)
5 Penumbral Lunar Eclipse from 15:14 to 19:32 UT, mid-eclipse at 17:23 UT. Best seen at mid-eclipse as a slight dimming of the Full Moon. Visible from Africa, Asia and Australia.
NASA Lunar Eclipses: 2021-2030 (NASA)
Penumbral Lunar Eclipse of 2023 May 05 (PDF) (NASA)
5 Full Moon at 17:36 UT.
6 Eta Aquarid meteor shower peaks. Most active for 7 days around this date. Associated with Comet Halley. Very fast, bright meteors, up to 40 per hour. Best seen from the tropics and southern hemisphere a few hours before dawn. Moonlight interferes this year.
Eta Aquarids (Wikipedia)
AMS Meteor Shower Calendar 2022-2023 (IMO)
7 Moon near Antares at 14h UT (morning sky).
Antares (Wikipedia)
9 Venus 1.8° N of M35 star cluster at 17h UT (44° from Sun, evening sky). Mag. −4.2.
9 Venus at northernmost declination (26.1°) at 22h UT. Mag. −4.2.
Venus (Wikipedia)
11 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 5:07 UT (distance 369,343km; angular size 32.4').
12 Last Quarter Moon at 14:28 UT.
13 Moon near Saturn at 16h UT (morning sky). Mag. 1.0.
Saturn (Wikipedia)
17 Moon near Jupiter at 13h UT (morning sky). Mag. −2.1. Occultation visible from North America, Canada and Greenland.
Jupiter (Wikipedia)
Occultation of Jupiter (IOTA)
18 Moon near Mercury at 0h UT (morning sky). Mag. 1.7.
Mercury (Wikipedia)
19 New Moon at 15:55 UT. Start of lunation 1242.
22 Moon near M35 star cluster at 8h UT (evening sky).
23 Moon near Venus at 13h UT (41° from Sun, evening sky). Mag. −4.2. Look out for this spectacular pairing!
Venus (Wikipedia)
23 Moon near Castor at 21h UT (evening sky).
24 Moon near Pollux at 2h UT (evening sky).
24 Moon near Mars at 20h UT (evening sky). Mag. 1.5.
Mars (Wikipedia)
25 Moon near Beehive cluster M44 at 7h UT (evening sky).
Beehive Cluster (Wikipedia)
M44: The Beehive Cluster (APOD)
26 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 2h UT (distance 404,509km; angular size 29.5').
27 Moon near Regulus at 5h UT (evening sky).
Regulus (Wikipedia)
27 First Quarter Moon at 15:23 UT.
29 Mercury at greatest elongation west at 5h UT (25° from Sun, morning sky). Mag. 0.6.
31 Moon near Spica at 14h UT (evening sky).
All times Universal Time (UT).
  • US Eastern Daylight Time = UT − 4 hours.
  • US Pacific Daylight Time = UT − 7 hours.
  • Australian Eastern Standard Time = UT + 10 hours
  • Singapore Standard Time = UT + 8 hours.

Clear skies till next month!

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