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Bruce McClure

Eta Aquariids before dawn May 5 and 6

Here’s the bad news. The bright moon will interfere with meteor-watching. Here’s the good news. There are some tricks to watching in moonlight.

Moon, Saturn, Mars on May 4 to 6

Stay up after midnight, or rise before the sun these next few mornings, to see the moon, Saturn and Mars – and possibly, some of Eta Aquariid meteors streaking past in moonlight.

Comet Halley’s 2 meteor showers

It’s because comets like Halley are so crumbly that we see annual meteor showers. One shower spawned by this comet is going on now. Another is visible in October.

Venus and star Aldebaran after sunset

You can’t miss Venus. It’s the brightest thing in the west after sunset. Aldebaran – the eye of the Bull in Taurus – needs a darker sky. Wait some minutes! It’ll pop into view.

All you need to know: Eta Aquariid meteors

In 2018, the forecast calls for the greatest number of Eta Aquariid meteors to fall before dawn on May 5. Unfortunately, the waning gibbous moon will obscure the show, but perhaps a few of brighter Eta Aquariids can overcome the moonlight.

Moon, Antares, Jupiter May 1-2

Tonight’s moon is near the bright star Antares in the constellation Scorpius the Scorpion. An even brighter planet, Jupiter, is nearby.

Moon and Jupiter meet in Libra

On April 30, 2018, enjoy the bright moon near Jupiter. Then let Jupiter guide you to Zubenelgenubi and Zubeneschamali, Libra’s 2 brightest stars.

Will you see Mercury before sunrise?

From the Southern Hemisphere, these next weeks are your best opportunity of 2018 to spot the sun’s innermost planet, Mercury. From the Northern Hemisphere … not so much.

Moon near Spica on April 27 and 28

Spica, in the constellation Virgo, is one of our sky’s brightest stars. An even brighter object will be nearby, the planet Jupiter.

April 26 moon near Spica and celestial equator

Just as earthly coordinates help travelers, so celestial coordinates guide sky explorers. Tonight, meet Earth’s celestial equator … simply Earth’s equator projected onto the great dome of sky.