Space and Astronomy

Phases Of The Moon

New Moon

First Quarter

Full Moon

Last Quarter

Monday May 30
4:30 a.m.

Sunday May 8
5:21 p.m.

Sunday May 15
9:14 p.m.

Sunday May 22
11:43 a.m.

The Planets and Special Events

The eta Aquarid Meteor Shower is visible from April 15 through May 27. The come from Comet Halley. The peak is on the evening of May 4. While better viewed from the Southern Hemisphere those of us in the Northern Hemisphere may still see some of the meteors after the moon sets at 11:37 p.m. As with all meteor showers they are best viewed from dark sky locations.

A Total Lunar Eclipse will occur the evening of May 15. The Moon will enter the Umbra, the Earths inner shadow, at 7:28 p.m. and totality occurs at 8:29 p.m. and will last about an hour and a half. Moonrise in the Los Angeles area will be at 7:41 p.m.

Venus (Mag -4.0) can be found in the early morning sky in the southeast. Venus rises at 4:13 a.m. on the 1st and a little later each morning thereafter.

Jupiter (Mag -2.2) can be found in the early morning sky in the east. Jupiter rises at 4:11 a.m. on the 1st and a little earlier each morning thereafter.

Mars (Mag +0.8) rises in the east at 3:32 a.m. on the 1st and a little earlier each morning thereafter.

Saturn (Mag +0.8) rises in the east at 2:39 a.m. and a few minutes earlier each morning aftrer.

Reprinted with permission, the information above is made available in the Griffith Observer , a monthly publication by the Griffith Observatory. For complete information on the Planets and other items related to Astronomy, please visit the Griffith Observatory Web Site.

Fun Facts

When you hear somebody talk about a celestial object being 30° (or 30 degrees) above the horizon, how in the world do you know how far up that is ? Well, hold your hand out at arms length with your thumb and fingers together, the palm of your hand facing you with the sky behind it. The distance from the edge of the little finger on the bottom of your palm to the edge of your thumb on the top is about 10° (10 degrees). Two palm widths is 20°, three is 30° and so on.

The theory that our Sun is the center of the universe and our planets revolve around it was first documented by Nicolas Copernicus. The interesting thing is that Copernicus was a Catholic Priest and Philosopher, not an Astronomer. But he believed that God would have made the movements of the planets more simple than the previously documented theory (which was very complex). As we know today, Corpernicus was right !

Space and Astronomy Related Links

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