2017, May: Sun & Moon



May’s arrival begins the full burst of spring in mid-northern latitudes.  For observational astronomy it is one of the best months of the year.  This year, Jupiter gleams in the evening sky and Venus dominates the morning views.  With occasional nights with northwest winds and a hint of frost, the skies gleam clearly.  Living near Lake Michigan, the prevailing breezes are sometimes from the northeast.  These nights are somewhat blustery, hinting that winter is still attempting to hang on.  It’s those days and evenings with northwesterly winds that are the best.  May also begins longer daylight, with the sun in the sky nearly an hour longer this month.  By month’s end the daylight lasts 15 hours.  As the season inches toward the summer solstice, the daylight only increases another 13 minutes.

The sun’s rising and setting points only move northward about 10 degrees.  The solstice is near.

May’s warmer, longer days, the burst of spring foliage, and northwesterly evening breezes, make this month the best of the year.


NASA Photo


Phase Date/Time Moonrise Moonset
First Quarter 05/02/17 (9:47 p.m.) 1:43 a.m. 2:09 a.m. (05/03/17)
Full Moon 05/10/17 (4:42 p.m.) 7:48 p.m. 6:59 a.m. (05/11/17)
Last Quarter 05/18/17 (7:33 p.m.) 11:23 a.m. 12:02 p.m.
New Moon 05/25/17 (2:44 p.m.) 5:35 a.m. 8:06 p.m.

Times are Central Daylight Time for Chicago, Illinois, from US Naval Observatory calculations.
(For mjb & afb)

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