Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Monday, May 1, 2017

May Stargazing

In spite of, because of, all the bullshit, keep looking up!

Stargazing Summary
The bright lights of spring take over the night sky. Regulus leads Leo across the sky, with the lion's head and mane spreading above it in the evening hours, and its body and tail to the left and upper left. The tail ends at another bright star, Denebola. Spica, the leading light of Virgo, follows Leo, with the brilliant planet Jupiter close by.

More stargazing information

Radio Program Highlights
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May 1-7: Moon meanderings. The Moon has some bright companions in the evening sky this week, including the king of the planets and the heart of the lion. Join us for these beautiful encounters, plus springtime on Mars and much more.

May 8-14: Tracking supernovas. A new project hopes to compile dossiers on hundreds of exploding stars over the next few years, and we'll have details. We'll also talk about a two-faced moon orbiting the planet Saturn. Join us for supernovae and more.

May 15-21: Antimatter. Antimatter isn't just the stuff of science fiction — it's real. But there's not much of it around, and that has scientists a bit baffled. Join us for antimatter, plus a beautiful pairing in the dawn sky and more.

May 22-28: Big blasts. There are many kinds of outbursts in the universe, and we'll talk about a few of them: supernovae, gamma-ray bursts, and fast radio bursts. Join us for exploding stars, plus the beautiful northern crown and more.

May 29-31: Star war. Solar storms periodically pelt Earth, and some of them can disrupt our technology. A storm in 1967 jammed military radars, making some think that the Soviet Union was preparing to attack. Join us for this and more.

Program schedule »

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This Month in StarDate Magazine
This month, we bring you our special Summer Reading Issue, in which we recommend new books. We've feature-length excerpts from four new books in astronomy and space science, plus astronomy news, skywatching tips and charts, and Merlin's answers to your questions.

Subscribe today

News from the Observatory
Upgraded Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dedicated; Dark Energy Survey, Other Cutting-Edge Science on the Way
The world's third-largest telescope, the 10-meter Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) located at McDonald Observatory in West Texas, has completed a multiyear $40 Million upgrade to enable it to take on the biggest challenges in astronomy today: unraveling the mystery of dark energy, probing distant galaxies and black holes, discovering and characterizing planets around other stars and much more. The HET Board celebrated with a dedication ceremony April 9.

About SkyTips
SkyTips is a monthly email newsletter for visitors to McDonald Observatory and StarDate Online. Each issue features stargazing highlights, upcoming StarDate radio program descriptions, and other news. Please feel free to forward this newsletter to your friends and family.

SkyTips is a publication of the University of Texas McDonald Observatory Education and Outreach Office, 2515 Speedway C1402, Austin, TX 78712. Reproduction of SkyTips content is permitted with proper credit given to McDonald Observatory.

And then there is's rather large Skywatching calendar for May 2017.


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