The waxing gibbous moon has moved eastward in its orbit around Earth, but it’s still close to Spica, Virgo’s brightest star.
The next Blue Moon will be on May 21, 2016. It’s a seasonal Blue Moon, the third of four full moons between the March equinox and the June solstice of 2016, and it’ll be near the red planet, Mars. Read about the various kinds of Blue Moons, and how often they occur, here.
You can see green flashes with the eye, when sky conditions are just right, if you are looking toward a very clear and very distant horizon. That’s why those who see green flashes most often see them over a sea horizon. You also must be looking just at sunset, at the last moment before the sun disappears below the horizon. And you have to be careful not to look too soon. Wait until just the thinnest rim of the sun appears above the horizon. If you look too soon, the light of the sunset will dazzle (or damage) your eyes, and you’ll miss your green flash chance that day.
Tonight – May 13, 2016 – and for the next few evenings, as soon as darkness falls, look outside for the moon. On May 13, the moon is at or near its first quarter phase. The nearby point of light will be Regulus, brightest star in the constellation Leo the Lion.
The constellation Virgo the Maiden fully returns to sky at nightfall – with her feet planted on the eastern horizon – by late April and early May. Follow the links inside to learn how to find Virgo, and more about its place in science and history.
Tonight – May 12, 2016 – it’ll be hard to miss dazzling planet Jupiter. In fact, Jupiter is very prominent on these May, 2016, evenings – even on a moonlit night. Meanwhile, you’ll have difficulty seeing the constellation Cancer the Crab on this night, because it’s faint … and the moon shines right in front of it.
Arcturus, a red giant, looks orange to the eye. It’s the brightest star on the northern half of Earth’s sky dome. Arcturus is especially noteworthy for its large proper motion, or sideways motion across our sky. Only Alpha Centauri – our sun’s nearest neighbor among the stars – has a higher proper motion among the first-magnitude, or bright, stars in the stellar neighborhood. What can the proper motion of Arcturus be telling us? Follow the links inside to learn more about this fascinating star.