(WVNS) — Stormtracker59 Meteorologist Bradley Wells is back with another look at the upcoming celestial events that will delight our region all month long. With the month of May upon us, those of us in the two Virginia’s will be treated to a meteor shower, the Flower Moon, and a lunar eclipse! Remember to bookmark this page so you and your family can enjoy all the May night sky has to offer.

The following events are marked as follows below for your convenience.
NAKED EYE EVENT: The event is visible without the aid of binoculars or telescopes in dark sky conditions.
TELESCOPE EVENT: The event is enhanced by the use or requires a hobby telescope or binoculars
LARGE TELESCOPE EVENT: A large (8-10 inch) professional telescope is required to view the event.

MAY 2022 MOON CALENDAR:

MAY 1st – 18th – PLANETARY PARTY CONTINUES: NAKED EYE EVENT – The planetary party continues into the month of May with Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mercury joining together in the pre-dawn sky. On the 18th, Neptune joins the party but you’ll need a large telescope to see this planet. Look east 90 minutes before sunrise each morning!

MAY 1st- KING OF GODS MEETS GODDESS OF LOVE NAKED EYE EVENT – The Romans named Jupiter the “King of Gods” and Venus the Goddess of Love and Beauty. The two planets will meet up in the sky this night. Venus, our sister planet will be 0.2 degrees away from Jupiter or about 2/3 a moon width. The pair will be easily found as they are arguably the two brightest planets in our night sky.
TELESCOPE EVENT: Those with hobby telescopes will be able to view up to 4 of Jupiter’s moon and some cloud bands. Larger telescopes will be able to pick out a few more moons and more features on both Jupiter and Venus.

MAY 4th – MAKE A WISH : NAKED EYE EVENT: On the night of the 4th into the morning of the 5th, the annual Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower dazzles us. While best viewed in the southern Tropics with 50-100 meteors, we in the two Virginias can see up to 30 per hour! This meteor shower is the result of Halley’s comet leaving a trail of debris in our orbit. This meteor shower runs from April 19th through May 28th with the peak event on the 4th. Viewing is looking best for those away from city lights as our crescent moon won’t interfere much. Meteors will appear to radiate from the constellation Aquarius and viewed all over the sky.

MAY 11th – SPACE STATION SIGHTNING: NAKED EYE EVENT: The International Space Station will zoom past our parts this night. The ISS will be visible for about 6 minutes at 5:51 AM looking north-northwest just above the horizon and eventually fade in the eastern sky near the horizon. The ISS will appear as a slow moving star or airplane that doesn’t blink. For more opportunities to see the ISS, head over to NASA’s “spot the station” website and find your home location for a list of times and dates.

MAY 15th – FLOWER BLOOD MOON NAKED EYE EVENT: A total lunar eclipse will occur this night starting at 10:27 pm it’ll reach totality around 11:29pm and return to normal around 12:31am on May 16th. During a lunar eclipse, our full moon passes through the Earth’s shadow turning the moon a blood red color. Blue light is filtered out through our atmosphere leaving only red light to hit the moon. The full moon in May is known as the Flower moon denoting flowers that bloom in May. Making this months full moon the Flower Blood Moon.

MAY 29th – GODS AND WAR: NAKED EYE EVENT– Jupiter has moved on from it’s partner Venus earlier this month to join up with the God of War named Mars. The two planets will be 0.5 degrees apart from each other. Mars will appear as a reddish dim star while Jupiter will appear as one of the night skies brightest stars. The difference being neither of these will twinkle.
TELESCOPE EVENT: Those will hobby telescopes will get a great view of both planets without much moving around. Up to 4 of Jupiter’s moons will be visible as well. Larger telescopes will be able to see more of the cloud bands on Jupiter as well.

MAY 30th/31st – FRACTURE IN SPACE: NAKED EYE EVENT– Back in 1995, Comet 73P, or the Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 comet began fracturing in space leaving debris in its path. Every 5 years ofr so the comet has continued to orbit the sun causing more of it to break apart. Fast forward to 2022, Earth is expected to pass closer to the comet’s main trails leading to a new meteor shower, the Tau Herculids. Calculations suggest we could see a few dozen to hundreds of meteors per hour as a result of this fracturing comet the night of the 30th into the morning of the 31st. Viewing looks great too with a new moon on the night of the 30th.

Don’t forget to bookmark this page so you don’t miss a single event!