Coming off the heels of that epic pink super moon you’ll be glad to know we have another month of great stargazing events ahead of us.
This month we have a spooky super blood moon to look out for, another rover will potentially land on Mars and you can still catch a glimpse of some awesome meteor showers.
Here are all the space events to look out for in May.
May’s Astronomy Highlights
Super blood moon
If you thought the pink super moon was cool, wait until you see the super blood moon. Also known as the Flower moon, the super blood moon occurs when there is both a lunar eclipse and the moon is in perigee (at its closest to Earth). It gets a red tinge because of the way light filters through Earth’s atmosphere.
We’ll be able to see this spectacular event in Australia on May 26. You can find out all the timings here.
Another rover lands on Mars
China’s Tianwen-1 probe has been circling Mars since its arrival in February, biding its time until it’s ready to send its own rover to the surface. At the moment the space agency is aiming for a mid-May landing.
No exact date has been set but the rover has now been named, (Zhurong after an ancient fire god), ahead of its landing attempt. If the landing is successful Zhurong will become the third rover active on Mars right now, alongside Curiosity and Perseverance.
Mercury and Venus conjunction
Everyone loves it when the planets rub shoulders. Well in late May, we’ll get to witness the closest conjunction between Mercury and Venus.
While the planets won’t completely align, according to EarthSky, this is the closest we’ll see Mercury and Venus until November 2033. You should be able to spot them for around 40 minutes after sunset, but you might need binoculars to glimpse Mercury.
Other astronomy dates in May
- May 3 – Conjunction of the moon and Saturn
- May 4 – Conjunction of the moon and Jupiter
- May 4 – Star Wars Day (yes, this is a space event)
- May 6 – Peak of the Eta Aquarid meteor shower
- May 11 – New moon
- May 16 – Conjunction of the moon and Mars
- May 26 – Super blood moon
- May 27 – Soyuz rocket launches 36 satellites for the OneWeb installation
- May 28-29 – Mercury and Venus at their closest conjunction