Events for May 2016

The following table gives the date and time of important astronomical events for May 2016. The time of each event is given in Greenwich Mean Time or GMT (a.k.a. Universal Time or UT). To convert GMT to Eastern Standard Time (EST) just subtract 5 hours. To convert GMT to other time zones, visit Time Zones. Some of the astronomical terms used in the calendar are explained in Definitions.

Of special note this month is a rare transit of Mercury across the Sun’s disk on May 9.

 Date    GMT   Astronomical Events for May_ 2016
------  -----  --------------------------------------------
        (h:m)
May 03  01:27  Moon at Descending Node 
May 04  19     Eta-Aquarid Meteor Shower
May 06  04:14  Moon at Perigee: 357828 km
May 06  19:30  NEW MOON 
May 08  08:21  Aldebaran 0.5°S of Moon
May 09  15     Mercury at Inferior Conjunction 
May 09  15     Transit of Mercury Across Sun 
May 13  17:02  FIRST QUARTER MOON 
May 14  07:06  Regulus 2.3°N of Moon
May 15  09:30  Jupiter 2.0°N of Moon
May 15  20:39  Moon at Ascending Node 
May 18  14:07  Spica 5.1°S of Moon
May 18  22:06  Moon at Apogee: 405934 km
May 21  21:15  FULL MOON 
May 22  11     Mars at Opposition 
May 22  21:59  Saturn 3.2°S of Moon
May 29  12:12  LAST QUARTER MOON 
May 30  04:45  Moon at Descending Node 

As the events above transpire, I will occassionally post photographs of some of them at Recent Images.

Astronomical events calendars for complete years and for eight time zones are available through the links below.

Time Zones Calendars of Astronomical Events
Greenwich Mean Time 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Atlantic Standard Time 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Eastern Standard Time 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Central Standard Time 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Mountain Standard Time 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Pacific Standard Time 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Alaska Standard Time 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
Hawaii Standard Time 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021

For additional years, see Calendars of Astronomical Events.

For detailed information on solar and lunar eclipses this year, see: Eclipses During 2016.

For detailed information on the transit of Mercury this year, see: 2016 Transit of Mercury.

The Calendars of Astronomical Events were all generated by a computer program I wrote (with THINK Pascal running on a Macintosh G4) using Astronomical Algorithms (Jean Meeus).

Fred Espenak