Astronomical Events for May 2014

Hello everybody,

Here are the astronomical events occurring in the month of May: (All times are given in UTC format)

       Astronomical Events

  • May 3: For viewers in North-West Brazil and Peru, at approximately 9:17 am, asteroid 105 Artemis will occult a +7.7 magnitude star.
  • May 4: For viewers in Peru and Ecuador, at approximately ~10:12, asteroid 34 Circe will occult a +7.4 Magnitude star.
  • May 6: The closest lunar apogee will occur at 10:23 with the moon being 404,318 km distant from Earth.
  • May 5-7: The Eta Aquarid meteor shower will peak. This meteor shower started at April 19, and end on May 28, but the most meteorites you will see will be on May 5-7. This meteor shower is made up of the remains of Halley’s comet. The first quarter moon will be present at the beginning of the night, but after 12 pm, it will set and the sky will become dark enough to view the meteor shower. While, they can come from anywhere, their origin will usually be from one point, and in this case, it is from the Aquarius constellation. Comets will leave gas behind when it ejects gas. That dust is scattered about its orbit, and when the Earth intersects with the comet’s orbit, then more of the comet dust will enter the atmosphere, and form a meteor shower. Since they are orbiting the same direction, it appears to all come from one point in the sky. That is called the radiant. This dust is how meteor showers occur.
  • May 7: For Australia and Indonesia, asteroid 206 Hersilia occults a +7.5 magnitude star at approximately 17:49.
  • May 10: Saturn reaches opposition. It is shining with a magnitude of +0.1. It’s rings are tipped over a maximum of 23 degrees into our line of sight on February 11th, and will widen overall in 2014.
  • May 13: A double transit event will take place on Jupiter from 9:20 – 9:32 visible from North-west North America.
  • May 14: The moon will occult Saturn on approximately 12:18. This will be visible in Australia and New Zealand.
  • May 24: A meteor shower may occur here thanks to Comet 209P LINEAR.
  • May 24: For South America, Asteroid 33 Polyhymnia occults a +5.5 magnitude at approximately 8:30.
  • May 25: Mercury reaches maximum dusk elongation, 22.7 degrees east of the sun. This is Mercury’s best evening apparition for 2014 for northern hemisphere viewers.

         RASC Toronto Centre Events (These times will be written as EST or EDT)

  • May 3-4: the AstroCATS will take place. It is a trade show that features seminars, guest lecturers, exhibitions, and many other events. There is also a special hotel accomodation for the guests. It’s going to be fun.
  • May 5 – 8: RASC will be hosting a city star party at either Bayview Village Park or at High Park. These parties are dependent on the weather, and a window is set for the party. If a night is clear, RASC gives the GO call and the party will take place that day. If a NO GO call is given, the party is postponed until the next day when another GO/NO GO Call is given. If all the days in the window were given a NO GO call, then the party is cancelled for the month, and will try again next month. If a GO call is given, guests start setting up their telescope at around 7:30 pm. Go to for more information and for the GO/NO GO call. It’s free to attend for the whole public.
  • Wednesday, May 7: Marshall L. McCall, who works at York University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy will talk about the arrangement of galaxies all around us and how that affects us. It will take place at the Ontario Science Centre. It is free to attend, and everyone can attend.
  • May 21: It is RASC’s Recreational Astronomy Night. It will take place at the Ontario Science Centre from 7-10 pm. Parking is free after 6 pm. There will be four speakers: Francois van Heerden will discuss the sky this month. Jason Toliopoulos will discuss Astronomy for dummies… by dummies. Francois van Heerden will give an update by the RASC board of directors. Lastly, Paul Mortfield will give tips to help us bring astronomy to people at star parties. It is free to attend, and anyone can attend.
  • May 24-25: Members have the opportunity to work at the E.C. Carr Observatory. This is the Carr Observatory Spring Work Party. It’ll allow you to get hands on experience in working at an observatory. There is room for everyone there. It is for members only, but members can attend for free. It is at Blue Mountain. Go to for more details.
  • On May 26-29: RASC will be hosting a Dark Sky Party at the Sault Lake Conservation Area. At this party, it will be dark enough to view the faintest objects in the sky, such as M51, Andromeda Galaxy, and many other Deep Sky Objects (DSO’s). This event is weather dependent, therefore go to for the GO/NO GO call. It is free to attend, and everyone can attend. Telescopes not mandatory.
  • Go to for more information. Thank You!




Coursera lecture 5.12


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