Dates and times shown are NZST (UT + 12 hours). Rise and Set times are for Wellington. They will vary by a few minutes elsewhere in NZ. Data is adapted from that shown by GUIDE 9.

THE SUN and PLANETS in MAY 2019, Rise & Set,  Mag. & Cons.
            May  1     NZST            May 31     NZST  
      Mag  Cons    Rise    Set     Mag  Cons    Rise    Set
SUN  -26.7  Ari   7.04am  5.30pm  -26.7  Tau   7.33am  5.03pm
Merc   0.8  Psc   5.20am  4.49pm   -0.3  Tau   8.34am  5.37pm
Venus -3.9  Psc   4.43am  4.26pm   -3.8  Ari   5.50am  4.01pm
Mars   1.5  Tau  10.29am  7.36pm   .1.6  Gem   9.57am  7.02pm
Jup   -2.2  Oph   7.45pm 10.47am   -2.4  Oph   5.37pm  8.35am
Sat    0.6  Sgr   9.46pm 12.37pm    0.5  Sgr   7.44pm 10.37am
Uran   5.9  Ari   6.25am  5.07pm    5.9  Ari   4.35am  3.13pm
Nep    8.0  Aqr   2.36am  3.24pm    7.9  Aqr  12.41am  1.28pm
Pluto 14.5  Sgr   9.56am 12.50pm   14.5  Sgr   7.57pm 10.51am

               May  1  NZST               May 31  NZST
Twilights    morning     evening        morning     evening
Civil:    start 6.39am, end  5.57pm   start 7.05am, end 5.32pm
Nautical: start 6.06am, end  6.30pm   start 6.31am, end 6.06pm
Astro:    start 5.34am, end  7.02pm   start 5.57am, end 6.39pm

  New moon:      May  5 at 10.45am (May 4, 22:45 UT)
  First quarter: May 12 at  1.12pm (01:12 UT)
  Full Moon:     May 19 at  9.11am (May 18, 21:11 UT)
  Last quarter   May 27 at  4.34am (May, 26 16:34 UT)


MERCURY will be visible about an hour before sunrise for the first week of May, a few degrees to the lower right of Venus. The moon, as a very thin crescent will be some 6° above Mercury on the morning of May 3.

Mercury is at superior conjunction on the 21st, so too close to the Sun for observation for the last three weeks of May.

VENUS drops further behind Mercury during May and remains a morning object. It will be readily visible fairly low in the morning twilight. The crescent moon will be to the right of and a little lower then Venus on the morning of May 3.

MARS is the one planet visible in the early evening. It sets about 2 hours after the Sun all month, a low object to the northwest as the sky darkens. On the 8th the crescent moon will be 3.5° above Mars

JUPITER will be easily visible to the east in the second half of the evening during May. It is also visible to the north and then west in the morning. The near full moon is just under 2° from Jupiter on the morning of May 21.

SATURN rises early evening by the end of May, so will readily be visible to the east an hour or two later. This month's occultation by the moon is visible from the south Indian Ocean.

URANUS begins to move up into the morning sky during May. It is one degree to the left of Venus on the morning of May 19.

NEPTUNE is also a morning object. It will be about 3° to the lower left of the moon on the morning of June 28, with the moon just past last quarter

PLUTO is about 3° from Saturn all month.

BRIGHTEST ASTEROIDS in MAY, mag. const. time of transit

               MAY 1     NZDT      MAY 31    NZST  
               Mag  Cons  transit    Mag  Cons  transit
(1)  Ceres     7.6   Oph   2.32am    7.0   Sco  12.08am
(2)  Pallas    8.3   Boo  11.25pm    8.9   Com   9.15pm
(4)  Vesta     8.2   Cet  10.39pm    8.3   Psc   9.30am

CERES rises at 7.24 pm on the 1st and 5 pm on the 31st, being about 12° from Jupiter. The near full moon will be just under 4° to the upper left of Ceres on the evening of May 19 and less than 1° to the left of the asteroid the following morning. Ceres is at opposition on May 28.

PALLAS rises at 6.45 pm on May 1 when it will be 9° from Arcturus. By the end of May it will rise at 4.40 pm, shortly before sunset.

VESTA will be 3.3° to the left of Venus on the morning of May 2, with the moon some 9° above the two. The following morning the three will form a triangle with the moon 3° below Vesta and to the lower right of Venus. Vesta will rise at 3.45 am on the 31st.

Brian Loader

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