Monthly Star Guide May 2013

Star chart for 15th May at 8.00 pm


Moon phases


Information on moon phases and times of sunrise and sunset can be accessed for any time of the year from Information on the drop down menu at the top of the page.


Mercury disappears behind the sun on the 11th May and remains hidden in the glare until about the 20th when it can be seen again in the evening sky. It reaches its maximum elongation from the sun next month on the 12th.

Venus is visible in the evening sky and continues to distance itself from the sun throughout the month, setting an hour and a half later on the 31st.

Jupiter is fast approaching the sun and the sun’s glare makes it difficult to see the Galilean moons. It will disappear behind the sun next month.

On the 26th May, look out for the grouping of Jupiter, Venus and Mercury on the western horizon just after sunset.


Saturn now reigns supreme in the night sky. It is in retrograde motion and remains in the constellation of Virgo for about four months. The rings are at an angle of 18 degrees and it’s easy to see the Cassini division.


Annular Solar Eclipse

On the night of the new moon, at 0 h 25 m GMT (2h 25 m Egypt time), the moon will pass in front of the sun causing an eclipse. The moon, however, is approaching its apogee (its greatest distance from the Earth) which means that its apparent size is at its minimum and it cannot completely block the sun, giving rise to an annular eclipse.

Annular eclipse

The whole spectacle, however, will only be visible to Aussies and Aborigines in their island continent, hunter-gatherers in the forests of Papua New Guinea and the Melanesian tribes of a thousand Solomon Islands. The rest of us might as well stay in bed.

Annular eclipse map

Astrology watch

Astrologers and other assorted soothsayers and necromancers believe that the Sun entered the constellation of Taurus last month and will quit it on the 20th of this month for the constellation of Gemini.

In fact, the sun was in Aries at the beginning of this month and enters Taurus on the 14th where it will remain well into next month.

Astrologers need to update their tables.


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