May, 2017 Programs

Spring Constellations — The mythology and science behind star patterns in the Spring sky above Lincoln.  Running time:  20 minutes

AstroShorts —     Sky news and Coming Attractions.  This month: Losing The Dark, What’s Up May 2017, Cassini’s Grand Finale,  and Preview of the 2017 Total Solar Eclipse.  Running time:  22 minutes.

Jupiter  — covers what we know about the solar system’s largest planet, including the latest science from the Juno probe.  Running time:  14 minutes.


What we’re looking at through the observatory’s telescopes in May


Mars is in our evening sky for the first part of the month, then slides into the solar glare after sunset.  It appears as a tiny orange marble in telescopes.

Jupiter is the planet to view this month.   Its cloud belts are clearly visible, and the endless dance of its 4 largest moons makes for a fascinating spectacle.

The Moon:

On the Sixth, just after First Quarter, is one of two good public nights to view the moon this month.  On the 13th, the moon is well past its full phase, so it rises just after the observatory closes at 11 p.m, a no-go for looking at it.  The moon is out of the evening sky on the 20th, rising at about 3 a.m. and approaching New phase on the 24th.  So, the evening of the 27th will present a good viewing opportunity, with a thin crescent, best seen after 9:00 p.m.  It will set just before the observatory closes.

Deep Sky Objects:

Galaxies, Nebulae, globular star clusters and other objects beyond the solar system will be viewed through the telescopes throughout the month, depending upon sky conditions.