We present you the astronomy calendar for May 2020. Astronomy is the foundation upon which astrology can operate. Actually, astrology and astronomy were treated together, under the Latin name of astrologia, being separated only by the Western 17th century philosophy. One thing is sure: a good astrologer needs to study astronomy.
Wednesday, May 6th, Thursday, May 7th: Eta Aquarids Meteor Shower
The Eta Aquarids are a meteor shower associated with Halley’s Comet. The meteors we currently see as members of the Eta Aquariid shower separated from Halley’s Comet hundreds of years ago. The current orbit of Halley’s Comet does not pass close enough to the Earth to be a source of meteoric activity.
The Eta Aquarids get their name because their radiant appears to lie in the constellation Aquarius, near one of the constellation’s brightest stars, Eta Aquarii.
The shower peaks at about a rate of around a meteor per minute, although such rates are rarely seen from northern latitudes due to the low altitude of the radiant. In the Northern Hemisphere, the rate can reach about 30 meteors per hour. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Aquarius, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
Thursday, May 7th: Full Moon and Supermoon
The full moon is the lunar phase when the Moon appears fully illuminated from Earth’s perspective. This occurs when Earth is located directly between the Sun and the Moon (more exactly, when the ecliptic longitudes of the Sun and Moon differ by 180°). This means that the lunar hemisphere facing Earth – the near side – is completely sunlit and appears as a circular disk, while the far side is dark.
May full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Flower Moon because, in most areas, flowers are abundant during this time. Other names for May Full moon were Green Grass Moon, Root-Food Moon, Milk Moon and Corn Planting Moon.
According to the original definition of supermoon – coined by the American astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979 – this is „a new or full moon which occurs with the Moon at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit (perigee). In short, Earth, Moon and Sun are all in a line, with Moon in its nearest approach to Earth“.
Friday, May 22nd: New Moon
The New Moon is when the Sun and Moon are aligned, with the Sun and Earth on opposite sides of the Moon. The new moon is the first lunar phase, when the Moon and Sun have the same ecliptic longitude. At this phase, the lunar disk is not visible to the unaided eye, except when silhouetted during a solar eclipse. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.