Brightest StarsTonight

Tonight’s young moon emerges into the evening sky

Young moon: A chart of the night sky on May 9 just after sunset, with stars Pollux, Castor, Capella, Procyon, Betelgeuse, and Aldebaran glowing brightly with the crescent moon slightly north of the horizon.
A chart from UK astronomer Guy Ottewell, showing the night sky just after sunset on May 9, 2024. Image via Universal Workshop. Used with permission.

Guy Ottewell originally published this article as a blog post at his website, Universal Workshop. Reprinted here with permission.

The young moon emerges into the evening sky tonight (May 9, 2024), as if peering jealously about at a bevy of her rivals in brightness.

The light the moon is sending to us at this time, expressed as magnitude -4, adds up to more than these stars put together. Yet, spread along the slender crescent, it makes for a lower surface brightness than the point sources of the stars.

So which do you notice first as our own sun’s light drains from the sky: Capella (magnitude 0.1), Procyon (magnitude 0.4), Betelgeuse (0.5 and, being variable, sometimes brighter), or the wispy crescent of the moon?

Or is it possible with a sudden opening of eyes to become simultaneously aware of all seven of these candidates for attention? A use of peripheral vision; it might be called a “wide noticing” trick.

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For more like this, visit Guy Ottewell’s Astronomical Calendar 2024

Bottom line: The young moon will compete in brightness with several bright stars on the evening of May 9, 2024.

Via Universal Workshop.

May 9, 2024
Brightest Stars

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