"Pillaging the Universe One Star at a Time"

 

The 2015 Bootleg Star Party Dates are: 

May 15th - 17th!!  

2015 Bootleg Star Party Registration Form -- CLICK HERE 

Hurry, Early Registration Ends Saturday, May 9th!

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Upcoming Observing Highlights for May 2015   (from skymaps.com)
 
1 Mercury 1.6 SSE of the Pleiades (20 from Sun, evening sky) at 6h UT.
The Pleiades (Wikipedia)
2 Moon near Spica (evening sky) at 14h UT.
4 Full Moon at 3:42 UT.
Full Moon Names (Wikipedia)
5 Moon near Saturn (morning sky) at 18h UT. Mag. +0.1.
Saturn (Wikipedia)
6 Moon near Antares (morning sky) at 5h UT.
6 Eta Aquarid meteor shower peaks. Active April 19 to May 28. Associated with Comet Halley. Very fast, bright meteors, up to 30 per hour. Favors skywatchers in the tropics and southern hemisphere observing after midnight. Bright moonlight will spoil the view.
The Eta Aquarids (Gary Kronk)
Meteor Shower Calendar (AMS)
7 Mercury at greatest elongation, 21 east of Sun (evening sky) at 5h UT. Mag. +0.4.
9 Venus 1.7 N of M35 cluster (43 from Sun, evening sky) at 22h UT. Mags. -4.2 and +5.3.
11 Last Quarter Moon at 10:36 UT.
15 Moon at perigee (closest to Earth) at 0h UT (366,024 km; angular size 32.6').
18 New Moon at 4:13 UT. Start of lunation 1143.
Lunation Number (Wikipedia)
19 Moon near Aldebaran (13 from Sun, evening sky) at 3h UT.
19 Moon near Mercury (15 from Sun, evening sky) at 8h UT. Mag. +2.5.
21 Moon near Venus (evening sky) at 17h UT. Mag. -4.2.
23 Saturn at opposition (opposite the Sun) at 2h UT. The ringed planet is at its brightest (mag. +0.0) and closest in 8 years (globe diameter 19", rings span 42"). Saturn's rings are spectacular even in a small telescope.
Saturn (Wikipedia)
Opposition (Wikipedia)
23 Moon near Beehive cluster (evening sky) at 13h UT.
Beehive Cluster (Wikipedia)
24 Moon near Jupiter (evening sky) at 5h UT. Mag. -2.0.
25 First Quarter Moon at 17:19 UT.
26 Moon at apogee (farthest from Earth) at 22h UT (distance 404,244 km; angular size 29.6').
29 Moon near Spica (evening sky) at 21h UT.
29 Venus 4.0 S of Pollux (evening sky) at 22h UT. Mags. -4.2 and +1.2.
>>> All times Universal Time (UT).    USA Central Standard Time = UT-6 hours.  (DST = UT-5 hrs,)

 

Zodiacal Light is caused by sunlight reflected off meteoric dust in the plane of the solar system. Choose a clear, moonless night, about 1-2 hours after sunset, and look for a large triangular-shaped glow extending up from the horizon (along the ecliptic). The best months to view the Zodiacal Light is when the ecliptic is almost vertical at the horizon: March and April (evening) and October-November (morning); times reversed for the southern hemisphere.
Zodiacal Light (Wikipedia)
Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD)
Photographing the Zodiacal Light (Weatherscapes)