What’s Up May 2012

A Total Solar Eclipse over Turkey; Credit & Copyright: Stefan Seip, astromeeting.de

A Total Solar Eclipse over Turkey; Credit & Copyright: Stefan Seip, astromeeting.de

The big news this month is an annular solar eclipse on May 20, and Mt. Shasta is prime eclipse-viewing territory! Contact the Chamber for information on eclipse happenings in the area, and make sure to observe safely.

Low in the west you’ll find brilliant Venus sandwiched between Betelgeuse to its lower left and Capella to its upper right. All three are slipping deeper into the twilight with each passing night.

Follow the imaginary line from the just-set Sun through Venus and sweep up to the left until you run into bright, ruddy Mars. Not far away is the bright star Regulus.

Keep following that line eastward until you run into Saturn over in the east. Just beneath it is the star Spica. Although nearly equal in brightness, Saturn is creamy colored while Spica is icy white.
Sky and Telescope

The next Full Moon is on the 6th, and the next New Moon is on the 20th.

The International Space Station and various satellites can be tracked and viewed at Heavens-Above.com (link is set for Mt. Shasta’s location and elevation.)

For a full list of sky happenings this month, as well as a handy printable map, download The Evening Sky Map. (Translations to other languages are not currently supported, but they hope to have them back sometime in 2012.)

Greetings! I’m Danielle Signor, MSCoC’s webmaster. I witnessed two out of three of the last space shuttle launches in the program: Discovery in February 2011, as part of the STS-133 NASA Tweetup event; and Atlantis in July 2011 (STS-135). Get your space fix at my blog, Silver-Rockets.com, and follow me on Twitter at @silverrockets.