What is firmament
The starry sky in May
On May 1st, the sun sets around 9:00 p.m. On May 2nd, it opens again at around 6:00 am. However, it will not get astronomically dark on May 1st around 11:30 pm, and on May 2nd the astronomical darkness will end at 3:45 am. The night is therefore only astronomically dark for about four hours at the beginning of the month. At the end of the month there is no longer any astronomical darkness north of the 50th parallel because the sun there no longer sinks deep enough below the northern horizon.
Although summer is just around the corner, May nights can be chilly. Then, on clear nights after midnight, ground fog can form in valleys and over fields and meadows. Since cold night air is heavier than warm, it flows from the heights into the valleys and depressions. This means that high-altitude observation sites usually remain free of fog, making them ideally suited for observing the sky. Under a starry night sky, you can even expect ground frost in the second half of the night.
Nowadays, you can find out about local weather developments at any time using powerful weather apps. So you can recognize upcoming phases with good observation weather in good time and use them for observations and for astrophotography.
The best observation conditions are found in remote, dark locations. They have to offer a subsurface that is stable and level. The observation point should be as high as possible so that it provides a good overview and a clear all-round view of the distant horizon. If you want to observe there for a long time, you should set up camping chairs and a small table. You can place your accessories on it in such a way that you can find them safely in the dark.
The observation area should be accessible by car so that you can bring your devices there without any problems. Then you have to set up and set up the devices there. You should practice setting up beforehand so that every move is correct when setting up in the dark. Then nothing will go wrong during setup and observation, and nothing will fall over.
May 11th is new moon. The full moon is on May 26th in the constellation Scorpio.
After sunset you can see the 1.7m bright Mars in the evening sky in the west. In the first three weeks of May one can see Mercury deep over the northwestern horizon. From the middle of the month onwards, the radiantly bright Venus joins as an evening star. Before the beginning of dawn, one can observe the -2.4m bright Jupiter and the 0.6m bright Saturn over the southeast horizon.
Unfortunately, no bright comets are to be expected in May.
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