Looking at the stars and galaxies on the night sky makes many of us embrace meekness more than ever. Someone even once said that astronomy is the only thing that makes men become humble. And it’s true, although it also can make us realize how special we are as human beings in the Cosmos. How could stars be beautiful if there weren’t any intelligent and conscious beings able to conclude that?
For this year’s May, the night sky will be very generous with its beholder from Earth. And hopefully, with beholders from other planets, as well.
Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower
Who doesn’t enjoy a sight with 20-30 meteors per hour? That’s exactly what awaits us on May 5, when the Eta Aquariid Meteor Shower will offer a great celestial show. Hopefully, we’ll even spot several fireballs in the process – which are super bright meteors.
Also known as Eta Aquariids, the meteor shower’s objects had been separated from Halley’s Comet many years ago. The current orbit of Halley’s Comet is not close enough to our planet in order to be considered a source of meteoric activity.
Jupiter meets the Moon
Although the two cosmic objects are at tremendous distances away from each other, they will appear very close on the night sky of May 12. To be more precise, you’ll be able to spot the encounter a bit after midnight to dawn in the south-southeastern sky.
While the average distance between Earth and Jupiter is 722.52 million km, the one from our planet to Moon is only 384,400 km. The the distance between the Moon and Jupiter is around 630 million kilometers.
Jupiter is the biggest planet from our Solar System and it’s made almost entirely of gases, which is why it’s called a gas giant. Scientists suspect that the planet has a solid core, but there’s no solid proof for that hypothesis. Jupiter is also unique for its huge number of moons that are orbiting around the planet: 79, and the biggest one is Ganymede. Surprisingly enough, Ganymede is even bigger than Mercury and Pluto.
Venus shows itself more
For the whole month of this year’s May, Venus will be delighting our view with its presence in the evening. There’s no need to worry about not knowing which one of the bright spots from the sky is Venus. Our neighboring planet appears as the third brightest object during the night sky, after the Sun and the Moon.
Venus represents a wonderful sight on the night sky, although if you get too close to it it’s none other than Hell unleashed. The average temperature from the planet’s surface is 864 degrees Fahrenheit (462 degrees Celsius). Even the atmosphere of Venus makes it a true nightmare for anybody since it’s made of carbon dioxide for 96.5%, 3.5% nitrogen, and traces of other gases like sulfur dioxide.
It’s obvious that you should cancel ASAP any plans or vacation scheduled for Venus.
No more Orion
Orion is a constellation located on the celestial equator and visible from many places on Earth. It is one of the most recognizable constellations from the night sky. Its name comes from a hunter in Greek mythology. The brightest stars from Orion are Rigel (Beta Orionis) and Betelgeuse.
Orion will start disappearing in early May from the night sky for skywatchers in the central US. It won’t be visible to anyone anymore in the contiguous US by the summer solstice that’s occurring on June 20.
We are truly lucky to witness all of this. And we can genuinely hope that there are intelligent beings elsewhere in the Universe capable of observing such cosmic phenomenons. With trillions of galaxies that each contain several billion stars, chances are practically nonexistent that life can only exist on Earth.