International Astronomy Day is May 7

International Astronomy Day: Milky Way with black trees in front and writing at the top.
Celebrate International Astronomy Day on Saturday, May 7, 2022.

International Astronomy Day is an event we celebrate twice a year, around the time of first-quarter moon in the spring and fall. Spring’s day to celebrate will be Saturday, May 7, 2022. Learn what you can see in the sky on May 7 and find resources on how to join in the festivities.

International Astronomy Day is May 7, 2022

The first Saturday in May is the day and night for celebrating astronomy this spring. There are many ways to celebrate, from visiting a planetarium or an observatory to gathering your friends and family to gaze at the stars.

Here’s a star chart for the sky on Saturday, May 7, for the center of North America. You can also visit Stellarium to find a star chart tailored to your location.

Most the planets are now in the morning sky, though you may catch Mercury after sunset in the west-northwest. As the sky gets darker, the winter constellations of Orion and Taurus are setting in the west. Leo and Cancer will be high in the sky, and the first-quarter moon is close to Cancer’s Beehive Cluster. Rising in the east will be Virgo and Libra.

The official date of first-quarter moon is Sunday, May 8. Use binoculars or a telescope to examine the terminator, or line that divides day and night, on the moon. This is the best spot to see stark relief of mountains and craters on the lunar surface.

Look for the Big Dipper high overhead, which can lead you to many other constellations. Toward the south is the long snaking form of Hydra, the sky’s largest constellation. You can also see the sky’s brightest star Sirius in Canis Major.

Blue circle on black with labels of constellations and lines with dots.
This is the night sky for early evening on May 7, 2022, from central North America. Image via CyberSky.

You can find other great sights with our Planet and Night Sky Guide and important events to watch for throughout the month.

The next International Astronomy Day will be on Saturday, October 1.

Resources for International Astronomy Day

International Astronomy Day for classroom teachers

Enter your zip code to search for events via NASA’s Night Sky Network

Astronomy Day from the Astronomical League

Bottom line: International Astronomy Day occurs twice a year. The next celebration is on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Find info here.

May 6, 2022

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Kelly Kizer Whitt

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