The series of conjunctions, appulses, and another meteor shower will continue to delight us this May, and like the past months these cosmic treats are only best enjoyed by pulling an all-nighter or waking up very early in the morning. So avid stargazers, better get your coffees ready because we’re in for some sight!
Planets are still in their early morning shift, and the meteor shower of the month will peak after midnight.
Observing planets and deep-sky objects on clear, dark nights will be more effective using a telescope or binoculars—like the smart telescope Stellina, an easy-to-use observation station that can be operated using smartphones and tablets. Al Sadeem Astronomy is the only distributor of this smart telescope here in the Middle East. You can place an order or inquiry here.
Check out the sky events for May 2022 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to help you plan your stargazing experience this month. All dates and times are in UAE Local Time (UTC+4).
May 1 – Conjunction of Venus and Jupiter
At 3:40 in the morning, Venus and Jupiter will rise to showcase their luster in the UAE night sky. The pair will be in a tight conjunction, allowing equipped observers to see them within the same field of view (FOV) of their small to medium-sized telescopes. Venus and Jupiter will also be visible to the naked eye or through a pair of binoculars.
May 6 – Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower
This meteor shower has started since the third week of April, but its max rate of meteors is best viewed on May 6.
The Eta Aquariids, formally known as η (eta)-Aquariid meteor shower, is an average meteor shower from the debris of comet 1P/Halley that produces 27 meteors per hour under a clear, dark night sky.
At 2 A.M., when the meteor shower’s radiant rises above the eastern horizon, Eta Aquariids is expected to make its full display until dawn breaks.
Will the Moon be interfering this time? Data says no, as the Earth’s natural satellite, which will be in Gemini constellation, will be around the first quarter phase at the shower’s peak, and will set by midnight.
May 18 – Conjunction of Mars and Neptune
Here’s a pairing that we rarely see–the red planet Mars and the tiny blue Neptune.
Catch the two planets in conjunction as they rise at 2:24 A.M. above the eastern horizon. These two planets will also be close enough to fit within the field of view of a small sized telescope, so bust out those telescopes and try to capture this unique tandem in the sky.
May 22 – Conjunction of the Moon and Saturn
Staying up late on a Saturday? Might as well wait for the Moon and Saturn to meet in a conjunction on May 22. At 12:37 A.M., get a glimpse of the pair at the southern portion of the sky. The Moon in its last quarter phase and the Ringed Planet Saturn will stay there to light up your night until dawn breaks.
May 25 – Appulse of the Moon, Mars, and Jupiter
May 25 takes us on a triple treat as the Moon, Mars, and Jupiter come together in the sky for a close approach or an appulse. Catch the trio at 2:19 in the morning at the eastern part of the sky.
May 27 – Conjunction of the Moon and Venus
Another pairing that’s interesting to view through a telescope even though they’re bright enough to be seen with the naked eye is the Moon and Venus, which will both rise up at 3:31 A.M. at the eastern horizon on May 27.
May 29 – Conjunction of the Jupiter and Mars
Neighbouring planets Jupiter and Mars wrap up May’s series of cosmic spectacles on May 29, when the pair meets in a conjunction at the south-eastern part of the night sky. See these planets rise at 2:05 A.M. and stay up in the sky until the Sun breaks at the horizon. The pair is also a good subject to see through a telescope, as they would be so close together, they fit within the same FOV of a small telescope.
Sunrise and Sunset
May 1 05:47 ↑ 18:51 ↓
May 31 05:34 ↑ 19:06 ↓
May 1 – New Moon
May 9 – 1st Quarter
May 16 – Full Moon
May 22 – Last Quarter
May 30 – New Moon
- Astronomy Calendar of Celestial Events 2022. (n.d.). Retrieved from Sea and Sky: seasky.org/astronomy/astronomy-calendar-2022.html
- Calendar of Astronomical Events. (n.d.). Retrieved from In-The-Sky.org: https://in-the-sky.org/newscal.php?month=5&year=2022&maxdiff=4#datesel
- Sunrise and sunset times in Abu Dhabi, May 2022. (n.d.). Retrieved from timeanddate.com: https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/united-arab-emirates/abu-dhabi?month=5&year=2022