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Celestial Delights Await Stargazers in May: Planetary Alignments, Lunar Events, and a Space Launch


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Every month, avid stargazers eagerly anticipate the celestial events that grace the night sky. From breathtaking phenomena like blood moons, comets, and meteor showers, to solar and lunar eclipses, there is always something captivating to behold. This May is no exception, with a series of notable occurrences that will surely enchant sky enthusiasts.

A guide to stargazing in 2021 and what to look for in the next 12 months — BBC Sky at Night Magazine
May 15-21: A Perfect Week for Stargazing

This week holds great significance for stargazers, as the absence of a full moon ensures dark skies—a perfect time to plan a stargazing adventure with friends or simply enjoy the tranquility of your own backyard.

A Celestial Encounter: Jupiter and the Waning Crescent Moon
A Celestial Encounter: Jupiter and the Waning Crescent Moon

One of the most anticipated events of the month is the close proximity of the waning crescent moon to the giant planet Jupiter. Witnessing Jupiter waning behind the moon promises to be a mesmerizing sight, showcasing the celestial wonders of our universe.

May 17: Moon's Occultation of Jupiter
May 17: Moon’s Occultation of Jupiter

Approximately an hour before sunrise, lucky observers in Canada, the US, Mexico, Greenland, northern Scandinavia, and the northern UK will have the opportunity to witness the crescent moon seemingly collide with Jupiter—an exquisite display of celestial beauty.

Moon Phase Day Calendars
Moon Phase Day Calendars

A favorite moment for stargazers, the appearance of the New Moon marks a phase when the skies are enveloped in darkness, providing the ideal conditions for stargazing. Take advantage of this opportunity to marvel at the stars shining in all their glory.

May 21: The Crescent, Venus, and Mars
May 21: The Crescent, Venus, and Mars

As the sun sets, cast your gaze towards the western sky to witness a delicate crescent. Though thin, its allure is enhanced by the presence of bright Venus and the faint red glow of Mars hovering above it. For a closer look, binoculars will amplify the enchantment of this celestial trio.

May 19: Embrace the New Moon
May 21: Axiom 2 Launches into Space

On this day, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to launch Axiom 2, carrying the second privately-funded mission to the International Space Station (ISS). Under the command of ex-NASA astronaut Peggy Watson, Axiom 2 will transport four crew members, including two astronauts from Saudi Arabia, to the ISS—an exciting step forward in the realm of space exploration.

As the month unfolds, be sure to mark your calendars for these remarkable astronomical events. Whether you choose to embark on a stargazing adventure, revel in the beauty of the night sky from your backyard, or stay informed about the latest space missions, the wonders of the universe are ready to be discovered.

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