5 astronomical events to look out for this month

Credit: AJC

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What is a super flower blood moon?

Credit: AJC

If you missed last month’s pink moon or Lyrid meteor shower, there’s no need to fret. The month of May is filled with plenty of opportunities to witness more astronomical events.

From another meteor shower to a second supermoon, read below to find out more about what May’s night skies will offer. As with many events, the best way to catch a glimpse of most of these occurrences is to be away from city lights.

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Eta Aquarid meteor shower: Peaking the week of May 3, this shower began on April 19 and lasts through May 28. You’ll get the best glimpse of it in the early morning hours of Wednesday, May 5, Prevention reported. These showers come from dust and debris created by Halley’s comet as it circles the sun, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

New moon: Wednesday, May 12 will see the emergence of the new moon that night. Its appearance also signifies the end of Ramadan. Forbes reported a 3.5% crescent moon will be visible adjacent to Mercury and above Venus. Binoculars are required to see the trio.

Mercury reaches its greatest eastern elongation: The Swift Planet has already reached its greatest elongation, but on May 17, it’ll reach its greatest evening elongation 22 degrees east of the sun, according to Earth Sky. For the best view of this, look up at the sky 60 to 90 minutes after sunset.

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Super moon: Weather.com reported that the May 26 full moon will be closest to Earth at 22,2023 miles away. Because of that, it will be a super moon, the second one of the year.

Total lunar eclipse: The May 26 super moon is referred to as the super flower blood moon — a May blood moon that happens during a total lunar eclipse. May is when flowers spring up around North America, The Old Farmer’s Almanac reported.

“Over several hours, the Moon will pass through Earth’s shadow, causing it to darken and usually become reddish in color,” SciTechDaily reported. “The red color comes from sunlight filtering through Earth’s atmosphere – a ring of light created by all the sunrises and sunsets happening around our planet at that time.”